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Full text of "Gottlieb Mittelberger's journey to Pennsylvania in the year 1750 and return to Germany in the year 1754 : containing not only a description of the country according to its present condition, but also a detailed account of the sad and unfortunate circumstances of most of the Germans that have emigrated, or are emigrating to that country"

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mQlnffcliQm unD bcfrubfen UmjIdnDen Dcr meiflm 

5cutfci;en/ ^kin Mefed ^atiD gciogen fmD/ 

unb Dahin jief^en. 










IN THE YEAR 1754, 







Translated prom the German 


Member of the German Society of Pennsylvania. 

Philadelphia ; 




Copyright, 1898, 





IN rendering G. Mittelberger's Reise nach 
Pemisylvanien Into English, it has been the 
translator's aim to reproduce the author's 
work with the greatest possible accuracy con- 
sistent with grammatical correctness, photo- 
graphing, as it were, the quaint and naive lan- 
guage of the original, although at the sacrifice 
of elegant diction. In a few instances, where 
it seemed necessary to make the author's mean- 
ing clear, a word or brief remark has been 
added to the text in brackets [ ], or a note at 
the foot of the page. 





















MM value of this little book does not con- 


sist in eleo;ant diction accordino- to the 
rules of composition, but in its remark- 
able contents. The former will not be expected 
from the author, who is not a scholar. On the 
other hand his narrative, which, however, is 
quite readable, is to the reader a guaranty of 
his sincerity, not to mention the fact that he 
writes for the most part as an eye-witness. As 
he did not strictly aim at relating- all matters of 
the same kind consecutively, his work has re- 
ceived some variety which is, perhaps, more 
agreeable to the reader. What the author 
narrates with simplicity and without ornamenta- 
tion of the various Europeans and the American 
savages, their manners and customs, their laws, 
domestic and religious institutions, is for the 
most part new and of such a nature that think- 
ing readers will be glad to perceive in it a 
special mingling of the European and Ameri- 
can climate, of the customs of the Old and the 
New World, and of a civilized people living in 
part in natural freedom. 

(11) The 

The communications from the realm of nature, 
the animals, plants, etc., will no less arrest the 
attention of the reader, inasmuch as the wise 
Creator has placed an entirely new theatre of 
his miracles before the eyes of rational man. 
But the most important part of this publication 
will no doubt be found in the account of the 
fate that awaits most of the unfortunate people 
who leave Germany to seek uncertain pros- 
perity in the New World, but find instead, if 
not death, most surely an oppressive servitude 
and slavery. Nothing has been changed in the 
author's work, except that some notes from 
other writers of repute, confirming the author's 
narrative, have been added on the marcrin, and 
that the orthography has been made to conform 
to that in general use. The little work is here- 
with warmly recommended to the reader. 




i^i^SS ^^""^ month of May, 1750, I departed 
^j)M^ from Enzweihingen, Vaihingen County, 
^P^ac- my native place, for Heilbronn, where 
an organ stood ready to be shipped and sent 
to Pennsylvania. With this organ, I sailed the 
usual way, down the Neckar and Rhine to Rot- 
terdam in Holland. From ■ Rotterdam I sailed 
with a transport of about 400 souls, Wiirtem- 
bergers, Durlachers, Palatines and Swiss, etc., 
across the North Sea to Kaupp [Cowes] in 
England, and after a sojourn of 9 days there, 
across the great ocean, until I landed in Phila- 
delphia, the capital of Pennsylvania, Oct. 10, 
1750.* From home to Rotterdam, including 
my sojourn there^ I spent 7 weeks, caused by 
the many stoppages down the Rhine and in 
Holland, whereas this journey could otherwise 

* In the list of names of Foreigners arriving in the ship 
"Osgood," William Wilkie, Captain, from Rotterdam, and 
taking the oath of allegiance Sept. 29th, 1750 [O. S.], is 
that of Gottlieb Mittelberger. — Penna. Archives, 2nd Series, 
Vol. XVIL, p. 324. 

(13) be 

14 Journeg to iPcnns^lvania 

be made swifter; but from Rotterdam to Phila- 
delphia the voyage lasted 15 weeks. I was 
nearly 4 years in that country, engaged, as my 
testimonials show, as organist and schoolmaster 
with the German St. Auo^ustine's Church in 
Providence, having besides given private in- 
struction in music and in the German language, 
as the following certificate will show, at the 
house of Captain Diemer. 

Whereas the Bearer, Mr. Mittelberger, 
Music Master, has resolved to return from 
this Province, to his native Land, which is in the 
Dukedom of Wiirtemberg in High Germany; I 
have at his Request granted these Lines to cer- 
tify that ye above nam'd Mr. Mittelberger has 
behaved himself honestly, diligently, and faith- 
fully in ye Offices of Schoolmaster and Organ- 
ist, during ye Space of three Years; in ye 
Township of New-Providence, County of Phila- 
delphia and Province of Pennsylvania, etc. So 
that I and all his Employers were entirely satis- 
fied, and would willingly have him to remain 
with us. But as his Call obliges him to proceed 
on his long Journey; we would recommend ye 
s'd Mr. Mittelberger to all Persons of Dignity 
and Character; and beg their Assistance, so 
that he may pass and repass untill he arrives at 
his Respective Abode; which may God grant, 


•ffn Bmerlca. 15 

and may ye Benediction of Heaven accompany 
him in his Journey. Deus benedicat susceptis 
ejus & ferat eum ad amicos suos maxima pros- 

Dabam, Providentise Philadelphise 
Comitatu Pennsylvania in Ame- 
rica, die 25. Apr. A. D. 1754. 

John Diemer, Cap. 
Sam. Kennedy, M. D. 

Henery Pawhng, Esqr. 
Henry Marsteller. 
Matdiias GmeHn. 

I have carefully inquired into the condition of 
the country; and what I describe here, I have 
partly experienced myself, and partly heard 
from trustworthy people who were familiar with 
the circumstances. I might possibly be able to 
relate a great deal more, if I had thought that 
I should ever publish something about Pennsyl- 
vania. For I always considered myself far too 
weak for such an undertakino-. But the fatali- 
ties which I suffered on my journey to and fro 
(for in the country itself I fared well, because I 
immediately found good support and could get 
along well), and the evil tricks of the newland- 
ers, which they intended to play me and my 
family, as I shall relate hereafter, have awak- 

16 5ournes to ipcnns^lvania 

ened the first impulse In me not to keep con- 
cealed what I knew. But the most important 
occasion for publishing this litde book was the 
wretched and grievous condition of those who 
travel from Germany to this new land, and the 
outrageous and merciless proceeding of the 
Dutch man-dealers and their man-stealing emis- 
saries; I mean the so-called nevvlanders, for 
they steal, as it were, German people under all 
manner of false pretenses, and deliver them 
into the hands of the great Dutch traffickers in 
human souls. These derive a large, and the 
newlanders a smaller profit from this traffic. 
This, I say, is the main cause why I publish this 
book. I had to bind myself even by a vow to 
do so. For before I left Pennsylvania, when it 
became known that I was about to return to 
Wurtemberg, many Wurtembergers, Durlach- 
ers and Palatines, of whom there are a great 
number there who repent and regret it while 
they live that they left their native country, im- 
plored me with tears and uplifted hands, and 
even in the name of God, to make this misery 
and sorrow known in Germany, so that not 
only the common people, but even princes and 
lords, might learn how they had fared, to pre- 
vent other innocent souls from leaving their 
fatherland, persuaded thereto by the newland- 
ers, and from being sold into a like slavery. 


•ffn Bmerica. 17 

And so I vowed to the great God, and promised 
those people, to reveal to the people of Ger- 
many the pure truth about it, to the best of my 
knowledge and ability. I hope, therefore, that 
my beloved countrymen and all Germany will 
care no less to obtain accurate information as to 
how far it is to Pennsylvania, how long it takes 
to get there ; what the journey costs, and be- 
sides, what hardships and dangers one has to 
pass through ; what takes place when the people 
arrive well or ill in the country; how they are 
sold and dispersed; and finally, the nature and 
condition of the whole land. I relate both what 
is good and what is evil, and I hope, therefore, 
to be considered impartial and truthful by an 
honor-loving world. 

When all this will have been read, I do not 
doubt that those who may still desire to go 
there, will remain in their fatherland, and care- 
fully avoid this long and tedious journey and 
the fatalities connected with it; as such a jour- 
ney involves with most a loss of their property, 
liberty and peace ; with not a few even a loss 
of life, and I may well say, of the salvation of 
their souls. 

From Wiirtemberg or Durlach to Holland and 
the open sea we count about 200 hours; from 
there across the sea to Old Eneland as far as 
Kaupp, [Cowes] where the ships generally cast 


18 Journey to pennsglvama 

anchor before they start on the great sea-voyage, 
150 hours; from there, till England is entirely 
lost sight of, above lOO hours; and then across 
the great ocean, that is from land to land, 1 200 
hours according to the statements of mariners ; 
at length from the first land in Pennsylvania to 
Philadelphia over 40 hours. Which makes to- 
gether a journey of 1700 hours or 1700 French 

This journey lasts from the beginning of May 
to the end of October, fully half a year, amid 
such hardships as no one is able to describe 
adequately with their misery. 

The cause is because the Rhine-boats from 
Heilbronn to Holland have to pass by 36 
custom-houses, at all of which the ships are 
examined, w^hich is done when it suits the con- 
venience of the custom-house officials. In the 
meantime the ships with the people are detained 
long, so that the passengers have to spend much 
money. The trip down the Rhine alone lasts 
therefore 4, 5 and even 6 weeks. 

When the ships with the people come to 
Holland, they are detained there likewise 5 or 
6 w^eeks. Because things are very dear there, 
the poor people have to spend nearly all they 
have during that time. Not to mention many 
sad accidents which occur here ; having seen 
with my own eyes how a man, as he w^as about 


Hn Bmerica. 19 

to board the ship near Rotterdam, lost two 
children at once by drowning. 

Both in Rotterdam and in Amsterdam the 
people are packed densely, like herrings so to 
say, In the large sea-vessels. One person re- 
ceives a place of scarcely 2 feet width and 6 
feet length in the bedstead, while many a ship 
carries four to six hundred souls ; not to men- 
tion the innumerable implements, tools, provi- 
sions, water-barrels and other thmgs which like- 
wise occupy much space. 

On account of contrary winds it takes the 
ships sometimes 2, 3 and 4 weeks to make the 
trip from Holland to Kaupp [Cowes] in Eng- 
land. But when the wind is good, they get 
there in 8 days or even sooner. Everything is 
examined there and the custom-duties paid, 
whence it comes that the ships ride there 8, 10 
to 14 days and even longer at anchor, till they 
have taken in their full cargoes. During that 
time every one is compelled to spend his last 
remaining money and to consume his little stock 
of provisions which had been reserved for the 
sea ; so that most passengers, finding them- 
selves on the ocean where they would be in 
greater need of them, must greatly suffer from 
hunger and want. Many suffer want already 
on the water between Holland and Old Eng- 


20 3ourne\? to iPcnnsglvania 

When the ships have for the last time 
weighed their anchors near the city of Kaupp 
[Cowes] in Old England, the real misery begins 
with the long voyage. For from there the 
ships, unless they have good wind, must often 
sail 8, 9, 10 to 12 weeks before they reach 
Philadelphia. But even with the best wind the 
voyage lasts 7 weeks. 

But during the voyage there is on board 
these ships terrible misery, stench, fumes, 
horror, vomiting, many kinds of sea-sickness, 
fever, dysentery, headache, heat, constipation, 
boils, scurvy, cancer, mouth-rot, and the like, 
all of which come from old and sharply salted 
food and meat, also from very bad and foul 
water, so that many die miserably. 

Add to this want of provisions, hunger, thirst, 
frost, heat, dampness, anxiety, want, afflictions 
and lamentations, together with other trouble, 
as c. V. the lice abound so frightfully, especially 
on sick people, that they can be scraped off the 
body. The misery reaches the climax when a 
gale rages for 2 or 3 nights and days, so that 
every one believes that the ship will go to the 
bottom with all human beings on board. In 
such a visitation the people cry and pray most 

When in such a gale the sea rages and 
surges, so that the waves rise often like high 


Hn Bmecica. 21 

mountains one above the other, and often 
tumble over the ship, so that one fears to go 
down with the ship ; when the ship is constantly- 
tossed from side to side by the storm and 
waves, so that no one can either walk, or sit, or 
lie, and the closely packed people in the berths 
are thereby tumbled over each other, both the 
sick and the well — it will be readily understood 
that many of these people, none of whom had 
been prepared for hardships, suffer so terribly 
from them that they do not survive it, 

I myself had to pass through a severe illness 
at sea, and I best know how I felt at the time. 
These poor people often long for consolation, 
and I often entertained and comforted them 
with singing, praying and exhorting ; and when- 
ever it was possible and the winds and waves 
permitted it, I kept daily prayer-meetings with 
them on deck. Besides, I baptized five children 
in distress, because we had no ordained minister 
on board. I also held divine service every Sun- 
day by reading sermons to the people ; and 
when the dead were sunk in the water, I com- 
mended them and our souls to the mercy of 

Among the healthy, impatience sometimes 
grows so great and cruel that one curses the 
other, or himself and the day of his birth, and 
sometimes come near killing each other. Misery 


22 Journey to Pennsylvania 

and malice join each other, so that they cheat 
and rob one another. One always reproaches 
the other with having persuaded him to under- 
take the journey. Frequendy children cry out 
apainst their parents, husbands against their 
wives and wives against their husbands, brothers 
and sisters, friends and acquaintances against 
each other. But most against the soul-traffick- 

Many sigh and cry : " Oh, that I were at home 
again, and if I had to lie in my pig-sty !" Or 
they say : " O God, if I only had a piece of good 
bread, or a good fresh drop of water." Many 
people whimper, sigh and cry piteously for their 
homes ; most of them get home-sick. Many 
hundred pc^ople necessarily die and perish in 
such misery, and must be cast into the sea, 
which drives their reladves, or those who per- 
suaded them to undertake the journey, to such 
despair that it is almost impossible to pacify and 
console them. In a word, the sighing and cry- 
ing and lamenting on board the ship continues 
night and day, so as to cause the hearts even 
of the most hardened to bleed when they hear it. 

No one can have an idea of the sufferings 
which women in confinement have to bear with 
their innocent children on board these ships. 
Few of this class escape with their lives; many 
a mother is cast into the water with her child as 


IFn Bmcrica. 23 

soon as she is dead. One day, just as we had 
a heavy gale, a woman in our ship, who was to 
o^ive birth and could not orive birth under the 
circumstances, was pushed through a loop-hole 
[port-hole] in the ship and dropped into the 
sea, because she was far in the rear of the ship 
and could not be brought forward. 

Children from i to 7 years rarely survive the 
voyage ; and many a time parents are com- 
pelled to see their children miserably suffer and 
die from hunger, thirst and sickness, and then 
to see them cast into the water. I witnessed 
such misery in no less than 32 children in our 
ship, all of whom were thrown into the sea. 
The parents grieve all the more since their 
children find no resting-place in the earth, but 
are devoured by the monsters of the sea. It is 
a notable fact that children, who have not yet 
had the measles or small-pocks, generally get 
them on board the ship, and mostly die of them. 

Often a father is separated by death from his 
wife and children, or mothers from their little 
children, or even both parents from their chil- 
dren ; and sometimes whole families die in quick 
succession ; so that often many dead persons lie 
in the berths beside the living ones, especially 
when contagious diseases have broken out on 
board the ship. 

Many other accidents happen on board these 


24 ^ourne^ to ipcnns^lvania 

ships, especially by falling, whereby people are 
often made cripples and can never be set right 
ao-ain. Some have also fallen into the ocean. 

That most of the people get sick is not sur- 
prising, because, in addition to all other trials 
and hardships, warm food is served only three 
times a week, the rations being very poor and 
very litde. Such meals can hardly be eaten, on 
account of being so unclean. The water which 
is served out on the ships is often very black, 
thick and full of worms, so that one cannot 
drink it without loathing, even with the greatest 
thirst. O surely, one would often give much 
money at sea for a piece of good bread, or a 
drink of good water, not to say a drink of good 
wine, if it were only to be had. I myself exper- 
ienced that sufficiently, I am sorry to say. To- 
ward the end we were compelled to eat the 
ship's biscuit which had been spoiled long ago ; 
though in a whole biscuit there was scarcely a 
piece the size of a dollar that had not been full 
of red worms and spiders' nests. Great hunger 
and thirst force us to eat and drink everything; 
but many a one does so at the risk of his life. 
The sea-water cannot be drunk, because it is 
salt and bitter as gall. If this were not so, such 
a voyage could be made with less expense and 
without so many hardships. 

At length, when, after a long and tedious 


Ifn Bmerfca. 25 

voyage, the ships come in sight of land, so that 
the promontories can be seen, which the people 
were so eager and anxious to see, all creep 
from below on deck to see the land from afar, 
and they weep for joy, and pray and sing, 
thanking and praising God. The sight of the 
land makes the people on board the ship, espec- 
ially the sick and the half dead, alive again, so 
that their hearts leap within them ; they shout 
and rejoice, and are content to bear their misery 
in patience, in the hope that they may soon 
reach the land in safety. But alas! 

When the ships have landed at Philadelphia 
after their long voyage, no one is permitted to 
leave them ' except those who pay for their 
passage or can give good security ; the others, 
who cannot pay, must remain on board the 
ships till they are purchased, and are released 
from the ships by their purchasers. The sick 
always fare the worst, for the healthy are natur- 
ally preferred and purchased first; and so the 
sick and wretched must often remain on board 
in front of the city for 2 or 3 weeks, and 
frequently die, whereas many a one, if he could 
pay his debt and were permitted to leave the 
ship immediately, might recover and remain 

Before I describe how this traffic in human 
flesh is conducted, I must mention how much 


26 3ournei2 to ipenns^lvania 

the journey to Philadelphia or Pennsylvania 

A person over lo years pays for the passage 
from Rotterdam to Philadelphia lo pounds, or 
60 florins. Children from 5 to 10 years pay 
half price, 5 pounds or 30 florins. All children 
under 5 years are free. For these prices the 
passengers are conveyed to Philadelphia, and, 
as long as they are at sea, provided with food, 
though with very poor, as has been shown above. 

But this is only the sea-passage ; the other 
costs on land, from home to Rotterdam, including 
the passage on the Rhine, are at least 40 florins, 
no matter how economically one may live. No 
account is here taken of extraordinary contin- 
gencies. I may safely assert that, with the great- 
est economy, many passengers have spent 200 
florins from home to Philadelphia. 

The sale of human beings in the market on 
board the ship is carried on thus : Every day 
Englishmen, Dutchmen and High-German peo- 
ple come from the city of Philadelphia and other 
places, in part from a great distance, say 20, 30, 
or 40 hours away, and go on board the newly 
arrived ship that has brought and offers for sale 
passengers from Europe, and select among the 
healthy persons such as they deem suitable for 
their business, and baro^ain with them how lono- 
they will serve for their passage money, which 


•ffn America. 27 

most of them are still in debt for. When they 
have come to an agreement, it happens that 
adult persons bind themselves in writing to 
serve 3, 4, 5 or 6 years for the amount due by 
them, according to their age and strength. But 
very young people, from 10 to 15 years, must 
serve till they are 2 1 years old. 

Many parents must sell and trade away their 
children like so many head of cattle ; for if their 
children take the debt upon themselves, the 
parents can leave the ship free and unre- 
strained; but as the parents often do not know 
where and to what people their children are 
going, it often happens that such parents and 
children, after leaving the ship, do not see each 
other again for many years, perhaps no more in 
all their lives. 

When people arrive who cannot make them- 
selves free, but have children under 5 years, the 
parents cannot free themselves by them ; for 
such children must be given to somebody with- 
out compensation to be brought up, and they 
must serve for their bringing up till they are 21 
years old. Children from 5 to 10 years, who 
pay half price for their passage, viz. 30 florins, 
must likewise serve for it till they are 21 years 
of age ; they cannot, therefore, redeem their 
parents by taking the debt of the latter upon 
themselves. But children above 10 years can 


28 Journeis to iPcnns^lvanta 

take part of their parents' debt upon them- 

A woman must stand for her husband if he 
arrives sick, and in hke manner a man for his 
sick wife, and take the debt upon herself or 
himself, and thus serve 5 to 6 years not alone 
for his or her own debt, but also for that of the 
sick husband or wife. But if both are sick, such 
persons are sent from the ship to the sick-house 
[hospital], but not until it appears probable that 
they will find no purchasers. As soon as they 
are well again they must serve for their passage, 
or pay if they have means. 

It often happens that whole families, husband, 
wife, and children, are separated by being sold 
to different purchasers, especially when they 
have not paid any part of their passage money. 

When a husband or wife has died at sea, 
when the ship has made more than half of her 
trip, the survivor must pay or serve not only for 
himself or herself, but also for the deceased. 

When both parents have died over half-way 
at sea, their children, especially when they are 
young and have nothing to pawn or to pay, 
must stand for their own and their parents' 
passage, and serve till they are 21 years old. 
When one has served his or her term, he or she 
is entided to a new suit of clothes at parting ; 
and if it has been so stipulated, a man gets in 
addition a horse, a woman, a cow. 


•ffn Bmerica. 29 

When a serf has an opportunity to marry in 
this country, he or she must pay for each year 
which he or she would have yet to serve, 5 to 6 
pounds. But many a one who has thus pur- 
chased and paid for his bride, has subsequently 
repented his bargain, so that he would gladly 
have returned his exorbitantly clear ware, and 
lost the money besides. 

If some one in this country runs away from 
his master, who has treated him harshly, he 
cannot get far. Good provision has been made 
for such cases, so that a runaway is soon recov- 
ered. He who detains or returns a deserter 
receives a eood reward. 

If such a runaway has been away from his 
master one day, he must serve for it as a pun- 
ishment a week, for a week a month, and for a 
month half a year. But if the master will not 
keep the runaway after he has got him back, he 
may sell him for so many years as he would 
have to serve him yet. 

Work and labor in this new and wild land 
are very hard and manifold, and many a one 
who came there in his old age must work very 
hard to his end for his bread. I will not speak 
of young people. Work mostly consists in 
cutting wood, felling oak-trees, rooting out, or 
as they say there, clearing large tracts of forest. 
Such forests, being cleared, are then laid out 


30 bournes to ipenns^lvania 

for fields and meadows. From die best hewn 
wood, fences are made around the new fields; 
for there all meadows, orchards and fruit- fields, 
are surrounded and fenced in with planks made 
of thickly-split wood, laid one above the other, 
as in zigzag lines, and within such enclosures, 
horses, cattle, and sheep, are permitted to graze. 
Our Europeans, who are purchased, must always 
work hard, for new fields are constantly laid 
out; and so they learn that stumps of oak-trees 
are in America certainly as hard as in Germany. 
In this hot land they fully experience in their 
own persons what God has imposed on man for 
his sin and disobedience; for in Genesis we 
read the words : In the sweat of thy brow shalt 
thou eat bread. Who therefore wishes to earn 
his bread in a Christian and honest way, and 
cannot earn it in his fatherland otherwise than 
by the work of his hands, let him do so in his 
own country, and not in America; for he will 
not fare better in America. However hard he 
may be compelled to work in his fatherland, he 
will surely find it quite as hard, if not harder, 
in the new country. Besides, there is not only 
the long and arduous journey lasting half a 
year, during which he has to suffer, more than 
with the hardest work; he has also spent about 
200 florins which no one will refund to him. 
If he has so much money, it will slip out of his 

hands ; 

ffn Bmcrica. 31 

hands; if he has it not, he must work his debt 
off as a slave and poor serfy. Therefore let 
every one stay in his own country and support 
himself and his family honestly. Besides I say 
that those who suffer themselves to be per- 
suaded and enticed away by the man-thieves, 
are very foolish if they believe that roasted 
pigeons will fly into their mouths in America or 
Pennsylvania without their working- for them. 

How miserably and wretchedly so many 
thousand German families have fared, i) since 
they lost all their cash means in consequence of 
the long and tedious journey; 2) because many 
of them died miserably and were thrown into 
the water; 3) because, on account of their great 
poverty, most of these families after reaching 
the land are separated from each other and sold 
far away from each other, the young and the 
old. And the saddest of all this is that parents 
must generally give away their minor children 
without receiving a compensation for them ; in- 
asmuch as such children never see or meet 
their fathers, mothers, brothers or sisters again, 
and as many of them are not raised in any 
Christian faith by the people to whom they are 

For there are many doctrines of faith and 
sects in Pennsylvania which cannot all be enum- 
erated, because many a one will not confess to 
what faith he belongs. 


32 5ourne^ to Pennsylvania 

Besides, there are many hundreds of adult 
persons who have not been and do not even 
wish to be baptized. There are many who 
think nothing of the sacraments and the Holy 
Bible, nor even of God and his word. Many 
do not even believe that there is a true God 
and devil, a heaven and a hell, salvation and 
damnation, a resurrection of the dead, a judg- 
ment and an eternal life; they believe that all 
one can see is natural. For in Pennsylvania 
every one may not only believe what he will, 
but he may even say it freely and openly. 

Consequently, when young persons, not yet 
grounded in religion, come to serve for many 
years with such free-thinkers and infidels^ and 
are not sent to any church or school by such 
people, especially when they live far from any 
school or church. Thus it happens that such 
innocent souls come to no true divine recoQf- 
nition, and grow up like heathens and Indians. 

A voyage is sometimes dangerous to people, 
who bring money or goods away with them 
from home, because much is spoiled at sea by 
entering sea-water ; sometimes they are even 
robbed on board the ship by dishonest people ; 
so that such formerly opulent persons find 
themselves in a most deplorable condition. 

A sad example of a Wiirtemberger shall be 
mentioned here. In the autumn of A. D. 1753 

Hn Bmerfca, 33 

a certain Daser of Nao^old arrived with his wife 
and 8 children in a wretched and unfortunate 
situation at Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. For 
not only was he robbed at sea of goods worth 
1800 florins, but he had on that account a lonor 
law -suit with the English captain of the ship at 
Philadelphia, which suit, however, he did not 
win, but had even to pay the cost of the litiga- 
tion. Mr. Daser had to pay 600 florins for his 
own passage and that of his family. But as he 
had been robbed of his money, all his goods 
and chattels together with the boxes were sold 
at public auction or vendue for a trifling sum, so 
that he became more and more distressed with 
his family. Then, as he proceeded to borrow 
money to purchase a plantation, he was shame- 
fully cheated by his creditor. He had agreed 
with him to repay the borrowed money in two 
years ; but the person who made out the obli- 
gation or bond, as they call it there, wrote at 
the instigation of the unscrupulous creditor in 
tzvo days, instead of in two years. Mr. Daser 
signed this, never suspecting that he signed his 
own ruin, because he did not understand En'^-- 


lish. The result was that, as he did not repay 
the money in two days (N. B. He had not ever 
received the money, the time having expired in 
consequence of his own negligence and various 
idle pretenses of the creditor), all that he still 


34 5ourncB to Ipennsglvanla 

called his own was sold and even taken away 
from his body. He would even have been sent 
to prison, or been compelled to sell his children, 
had he not been saved by my intercession by 
Captain Von Diemer, who always had a kind 
and tender rei^ard for Germans. Said Captain 
Von Diemer provided Mr. Daser and his family 
for mercy's sake until the end of his litigation 
with victuals, money, beds and shelter, at the 
same time giving security for him, so that Mr. 
Daser remained free from the debtors' prison. 
Before my departure Captain Von Diemer 
promised Mr. Daser and me with hand and 
mouth that, as long as he lived, he would help 
provide for the Daser family and their needs. 
Mr. Daser dined with us 8 weeks and slept 
with me, but his many sad reverses have made 
him quite desponding and half crazy. Shortly 
before my departure his two oldest daughters 
and his oldest son w^ere compelled to bind 
themselves in writing to serve 3 years each. 

I avail myself of this opportunity to relate a 
few remarkable and most disastrous cases of 
shipwrecks. In the year 1754, on St. James' day, 
a ship with some 360 souls on board, mostly 
Wiirtembergers, Durlachers and Palatines, was 
hurled by a gale in the night upon a rock betw^een 
Holland and Old England. It received three 
shocks, each accompanied by a tremendous 


IFn Bm erica. 35 

crash, and finally it split lengthwise asunder at 
the bottom, so that the water entered, which rose 
so fast that the ship began to sink early in the 
morning. At the last extremity, when the peo- 
ple endeavored to save themselves, 62, persons 
sprang into a boat. But as this boat was too 
overburdened, and another person reached it by 
swimming, holding persistently on to it, it was 
not possible to drive him away till they chopped 
his hands off, when he went down. Another 
person, in order to save himself; jumped on a 
barrel which had fallen out of the large ship, but 
which immediately capsized and sank with him. 
But the passengers in the large ship held on 
partly to the rigging, partly to the masts ; many 
of them stood deep in the water, beat their 
hands together above their heads and raised an 
indescribably piteous hue and cry. As the boat 
steered away, its occupants saw the large ship 
with 300 souls on board sink to the bottom be- 
fore their eyes. But the merciful God sent 
those who had saved themselves in the boat, an 
English ship that had been sailing near, and 
which took the poor shipwrecks on board and 
brought them back to the land. This great 
disaster would never have been known in Ger- 
many if the ship had gone down during the 
nio^ht witli all its human freight on board. 

The following fatal voyage, where all the pas- 

36 Journeg to ipenns^lvanfa 

sengers were Germans, has probably not be- 
come known in Germany at all. In the year 
1752 a ship arrived at Philadelphia which was 
fully six months at sea from Holland to Phila- 
delphia. This ship had weathered many storms 
throughout the winter and could not reach the 
land; finally another ship came to the assistance 
of the half-wrecked and starved vessel. Of 
about 340 souls this ship brought 21 persons to 
Philadelphia, who stated that they had not only 
spent fully six months at sea, and had been 
driven by the storm to the coast of Ireland, but 
that most of the passengers had died by starva- 
tion, that they had lost their masts and sails, 
captain and mates, and that the rest would 
never have reached the land if God had not sent 
another ship to their aid which brought them to 
the land. 

There is another case of a lost ship that has 
probably never been made known in Germany. 
That ship sailed a few years ago with almost 
exclusively German passengers, from Holland 
to Philadelphia, but nothing was ever heard of 
it except that a notice was afterward sent from 
Holland to the merchants of Philadelphia. Such 
cases of entirely lost and shipwrecked vessels 
are not reported to Germany, for fear that it 
might deter the people from emigrating and in- 
duce them to' stay at home. 


Ifn Bmcrtca. 37 

I cannot possibly pass over in silence what 
was reported to me by a reliable person in 
Pennsylvania, in a packag-e of letters which left 
Philadelphia Dec. lo, 1754, and came to my 
hands Sept. i, 1755. These letters lament the 
fact that last autumn, A. D. 1754, to the very 
great burden of the country, more than 22,000 
souls (there was a great emigration from Wiir- 
temberg at that time) had arrived in Philadel- 
phia alone, mostly Wiirtembergers, Palatines, 
Durlachers and Swiss, who had been so wretch- 
edly sick and poor that most of these people 
had been obliged to sell their children on ac- 
count of their great poverty. The country, so 
the letters state, had been seriously molested 
by this great mass of people, especially by the 
many sick people, many of whom were still 
daily filling the graves. 

So long as I was there, from 20 to 24 ships 
with passengers arrived at Philadelphia alone 
every autumn, which amounted in 4 years to 
more than 25,000 souls, exclusive of those who 
died at sea or since they left home, and without 
counting those ships which sailed with their 
passengers to other English colonies, as New 
York, Boston, Maryland, Nova Scotia and Car- 
olina, whereby these colonies were filled, and 
the immigrants became very unwelcome, es- 
pecially in the city of Philadelphia. But that 


38 ^ourneg to Pennsylvania 

so many people emigrate to America, and par- 
ticularly to Pennsylvania, is due to the decep- 
tions and persuasions practised by the so-called 

These men-thieves inveigle people of every 
rank and profession, among them many soldiers, 
scholars, artists and mechanics. They rob the 
princes and lords of their subjects and take 
them to Rotterdam or Amsterdam to be sold 
there. They receive there from their merchants 
for every person of lo years and over, 3 florins 
or a ducat; whereas the merchants get in Phil- 
adelphia 60, 70 or 80 florins for such a person, 
in proportion as said person has incurred more 
or less debts during the voyage. When such 
a newlander has collected a "transport," and if 
it does not suit him to accompany them to 
America, he stays behind, passes the winter in 
Holland or elsewhere; in the spring he obtains 
again money in advance for emigrants from his 
merchants, goes to Germany again, pretending 
that he had come from Pennsylvania with the 
intention of purchasing all sorts of merchandise 
which he was going to take there. 

Frequently these newlanders say that they 
had received power-of-attorney from some 
countrymen or from the authorities of Penn- 
sylvania to obtain legacies or inheritances for 
these countrymen; and that they would avail 


1Fn Bmerica, 39 

themselves of this good and sure opportunity 
to take their friends, brothers or sisters, or even 
their parents with them; and it has often hap- 
pened that such old people follov^ed them, trust- 
ing to the persuasion of these newlanders that 
they vi^ould be better provided for. 

Such old people they seek to get away with 
them in order to entice other people to follow 
them. Thus they have seduced many away 
who said that if such and such relatives of theirs 
went to America, they would risk it too. These 
men-thieves resort to various tricks, never for- 
getting to display their money before the poor 
people, but which is nothing else but a bait 
from Holland and accursed blood-money. 

When these men-thieves persuade persons of 
rank, such as nobles, learned or skilled people, 
who cannot pay their passage and cannot give 
security, these are treated just like ordinary 
poor people, and must remain on board the 
ship till some one comes and buys them from 
the captain. And when they are released at 
last from the ship, they must serve their lords 
and masters, by whom they have been bought, 
like common day-laborers. Their rank, skill 
and learning avails them nothing, for here none 
but laborers and mechanics are wanted. But 
the worst is that such people, who are not ac- 
customed to work, are treated to blows and 


40 Journes to pennsijlvania 

cuffs, like cattle, till they have learned the hard 
work. Many a one, on finding himself thus 
shamefully deceived by the newlanders, has 
shortened his own life, or has given way to de- 
spair, so that he could not be helped, or has 
run away, only to fare worse afterwards than 

It often happens that the merchants in Hol- 
land make a secret contract with their captains 
and the newlanders, to the effect that the latter 
must take the ships with their human freight to 
another place in America, and not to Pennsyl- 
vania where these people want to go, if they 
think that they can elsewhere find a better 
market for them. Many a one who has a good 
friend or acquaintance, or a relative in Penn- 
sylvania, to whose helping care he has trusted, 
finds himself thus grievously disappointed in 
consequence of such infamous deception, being 
separated from friends whom he will never see 
again either in this or in that country. Thus 
emigrants are compelled in Holland to submit 
to the wind and to the captain's will, because 
they cannot know at sea where the ship is 
steered to. But all this is the fault of the new- 
landers and of some unscrupulous dealers in 
human flesh in Holland. 

Many people who go to Philadelphia entrust 
their money, which they have brought with 


Hn Bmcrica. 41 

them from home, to these newlanders. But 
these thieves often remain in Holland with the 
money, or sail from there with another ship to 
another English colony, so that the poor de- 
frauded people, when they reach the country, 
have no other choice but to serve or to sell their 
children, if they have any, only to ^et away from 
the ship. 

The following remarkable case may serve as 
an example. In 1753, a noble lady, N. V., came 
with her two half-grown daughters and a young 
son to Philadelphia. On the trip down the 
Rhine she entrusted more than 1000 rix-dollars 
to a newlander who was well known to her. 
But when the ship, on which the lady had taken 
passage, started from Holland, this villain re- 
mained behind with the money ; in consequence 
of which the lady found herself in such want 
and distress that her two daughters were com- 
pelled to serve. In the following spring this 
poor lady sent her son to Holland to search for 
the embezzler of her money ; but at the time of 
my departure, A. D. 1754, nothing had been 
heard of him as yet, and it was even rumored 
that the young gentleman had died during his 

It is impossible, however, to discuss all these 
circumstances ; besides I am sure that the new- 
landers and men-thieves, on coming to Ger- 

42 bournes to ipennsglvania 

many, never reveal the truth about these 
wretched voyages full of clangers and hardships. 

Frequently many letters are entrusted in 
Pennsylvania and other English colonies to 
newlanders who return to the old country. 
When they get to Holland, they have these 
letters opened, or they open them themselves, 
and if any one has written the truth, his letter is 
either rewritten so as to suit the purpose of these 
harpies, or simply destroyed. While in Penn- 
sylvania, I myself heard such men-thieves say 
that there were Jews enough in Holland, ready 
to furnish them for a small consideration count- 
erfeits of any seal, and who could perfectly 
forge any handwriting. They can imitate all 
characters, marks and tokens so admirably that 
even he whose handwriting they have imitated 
must acknowledge it to be his own. By means 
of such practices they deceive even people who 
arc not credulous, thus playing their nefarious 
tricks in a covert manner. They say to their 
confidants that this is the best way to induce 
the people to emigrate. I myself came very 
near beinor deceived. 

Some great merchants in Holland attempted 
not to let me continue my journey home, but to 
induce me by stratagem or force to return to 
England and America. For they not only told 
me verbally in Rotterdam, but even tried to 


Hn Bmcrica. 43 

prove to me by writing from Amsterdam, that 
my wife and child, together with my sister-in- 
law and many countrymen, had embarked for 
Philadelphia with the last transport last summer. 
They told me very accurately the names of my 
wife and child, how old and tall they were, and 
that my wife had said her husband had been an 
organist in Pennsylvania for four years ; they 
also showed me my wife's name in a letter, and 
told me with what ship and captain had sailed 
from Amsterdam, and that my wife was lodged 
with four other women in berth No. 22, which 
circumstantial communication had the effect of 
making one exceedingly confused and irreso- 
lute. But I read to them letters from my wife 
in which she plainly said that she would never 
in all her life go there without me, on the con- 
trary that she eagerly awaited my return. I 
said that I had written to her aorain that I had 
made up my mind to return, God willing, to 
Germany next year, wherefore I could not pos- 
sibly believe all this. The merchants then pro- 
duced witnesses, which made me so perplexed 
that I did not know what to believe or to do. 
At length, however, after mature deliberation, 
and no doubt by divine direction, I came to the 
conclusion that, inasmuch as I had already the 
greater part of my arduous journey, viz. 1400 
hours way, behind me, and had arrived at the 


44 ^oujneg to Pennsylvania 

borders of Germany, I would now in God's 
name continue and finish my journey, which I 
did, and thus, thanks to the Most High, I have 
escaped this great temptation. For I came to 
see that all that I had been told and shown in 
Holland with respect to my family had been 
untrue, as I found my wife and child safe at 
home. If I had believed those seducers of the 
people, and had returned to England and 
America, not only would this account of my 
journey not have been published so soon, but I 
should, perhaps, never have met my family 
again in this world. Those frequently men- 
tioned men-thieves, as I subsequently learned, 
gave an accurate account of me and my wife to 
the merchants in Holland, and the newlanders 
tried a second time to persuade my wife to fol- 
low them. The merchants no doubt thought 
that, if I returned home, I should reveal their 
whole nefarious traffic and the deplorable con- 
dition of the numerous families that emigrated 
and rushed into their ruin, and that I should 
thereby cause great damage to their shipping 
interests and their traffic in human flesh. 

I must state here something that I have for- 
gotten above. As soon as the ships that bring 
passengers from Europe have cast their anchors 
in the port of Philadelphia, all male persons of 
15 years and upward are placed on the follow- 

ITn Bmertca. 45 

ing morning into a boat and led two by two to 
the court-house or town-hall of the city. There 
they must take the oath of allegiance to the 
Crown of Great Britain, This being done, they 
are taken in the same manner back to the ships. 
Then the traffic in human souls begins, as re- 
lated above. I only add that in purchasing 
these people no one asks for references as to 
good character or an honorable discharge. If 
any one had escaped the gallows, and had the 
rope still dangling around his neck, or if he had 
left both his ears in Europe, nothing would be 
put in his way in Pennsylvania. But if he is 
again caught in wrong-doing, he is hopelessly 
lost. For gallows' birds and wheel candidates, 
Pennsylvania is, therefore, a desirable land. 



m^^W^SY'C^'^Wim is one of the En^- 

lish settlements or colonies in North 
America. It borders on the sea, and is 
just in the centre between the other English 
plantation lands. Far above it, in the north, are 
Nova Scotia, New England, New York, and 
New Jersey; below it, in the south, Maryland, 
Virginia, Carolina, and Georgia. From the city 
of London to the point where we lose Old Eng- 
land out of sight we count 325 English miles; 
then, from land to land, that is from the last 
land in Old England to the first land in Penn- 
sylvania 3600 such miles, from there to Phila- 
delphia 125 miles, which makes together 4050 
English miles, or 1350 German or rather 
Swabian hours. 3 English miles make a 
Swabian hour, but 25 such hours make a de- 
gree, just as the French land miles. When the 
ships come near this land, they sail from the 
ocean into the great river. This is a large bay 
formed by the Delaware River, or rather, it is 

(47) the 

48 Description of tbe 

the Delaware River itself which is very broad 
here. On the way to Philadelphia one sees on 
both sides a large flat land with woods here 
and there. The passage from the sea, and the 
entrance into the great river is in a northwest- 
erly direction. The Delaware River separates 
below at the entrance, the two colonies, Penn- 
sylvania and Maryland, from each other, Mary- 
land to the leftv Pennsylvania to the right. 
While on the river, we can see much high 
mountain land, especially the Blue Mountains, 
and on the left hand the tall and exceedingly 
beautiful cedar trees. At the entrance from 
the sea the river is so broad that we can 
scarcely see the land on either side. It grows 
gradually narrower, and at Philadelphia the 
Delaware is about half an hour wide. Here 
the river has twice every 24 hours ebb and 
flow from the sea. This city lies, as above 
stated, 125 English miles or 40 hours journey 
from the open sea, higher up in the land, hard 
by said river into which most of the rivers of 
this colony empty; the other waters flow into 
the other great main river of Pennsylvania, 
which is called Susquehanna, and empties into 
the Chesapeake Bay. In Philadelphia we can 
see the open sea through a field-glass. 

Said city is the capital of Pennsylvania where 
all the commerce is carried on. It is already 


XanD iPennsglvanla. 49 

very large, regularly and handsomely built, and 
laid out with broad streets and many cross- 
alleys. All the houses are built of stone or 
brick up to the fourth story, and roofed with 
shingles of cedar wood. It takes almost a day 
to walk around the town ; about 300 new 
houses are built every year. It is thought that 
in time it will be one of the largest cities in 
the world. The principal language and the law 
of the land is English. It has no walls nor 
ramparts, these being deemed unnecessary. On 
two sides the city has navigable waters, toward 
morning the above mentioned Delaware, and 
toward midnight the Schuylkill River, both of 
which join below the city. Many large and 
small merchant-vessels are built there near 
the water. The trade of the city and coun- 
try to other countries and colonies increases 
perceptibly from year to year; it consists in 
fruit, flour, corn, tobacco, honey, skins, various 
kinds of cosdy furs, flax, and particularly a 
great deal of flax-seed or linseed, also fine 
cut lumber, horses, and all kinds of tame and 
wild animals. In return the incoming ves- 
sels bring all sorts of goods, such as Spanish, 
Portuguese and German wines, the best of 
which cost a rix-dollar, the most inferior a florin 
per quart. Also spices, sugar, tea, coffee, rice, 
rum, which is a brandy distilled from sugar, 


50 Description ot tbe 

molasses, fine china vessels, Dutch and Enghsh 
cloths, leather, linen, stuffs, silks, damask, vel- 
vet, etc. There is actually everything to be 
had in Pennsylvania that may be obtained in 
Europe, because so many merchantmen land 
here every year. Ships are coming from Hol- 
land, Old and New England, Scodand, Ireland, 
Spain, Portugal, Maryland, New York, Car- 
olina, and from the West and East Indies. 
By "West Indies" the people of Pennsylvania 
mean the Spanish and Portuguese America, and 
also the American Islands, whether they belong 
to the Enolish or to other nations. 

In Philadelphia there is a new and splendid 
court or town house, which is very high and 
has four doors and four entrances. It is lOO 
feet Ion or and lOO feet wide, stands free, and has 
tall English plate [glass] windows. In this town 
there are already eight churches, three English, 
three German, one Swedish, and one Quaker 
church. In the last named one can often hear 
and see a woman preach in English, but no 
singing is heard in this class [sect], because 
they don't believe in singing. After the sermon 
is over, he who has objections against the ser- 
mon steps forth and explains his opinion ; and 
then one can often hear two persons disputing 
before the whole assemblage, which lasts some- 
times longer than the sermon. 

5LanD IPennsiglvanla. 51 

A gymnasium [college] has also been estab- 
lished in the city, where several languages are 
taught ; for in this city and country people from 
every part of the world can be seen, especially 
Europeans, of whom one could count more than 
a hundred thousand. The Germans are most 
numerous among the inhabitants of Pennsyl- 
vania. Many of these Germans study diverse 
languages in said gymnasium. 

In the court house of Philadelphia, four prin- 
cipal courts are annually held, and public judg- 
ment is passed in all occurring cases. Young 
and old may enter the court-room on such 
court-days and hear what is tried and tran- 
sacted, and which often gives rise to a terrible 
laughter among the audience. 

I will quote here but one example out of 
many. One day the following case was tried 
in the court: An unmarried woman, who had 
suffered herself to be got with child, and who 
wanted the man who was responsible for her 
condition to marry her, stated that he had forced 
her to the act. Both parties being summoned 
and heard, the defendant in the case would 
neither hear nor answer, but looked rigidly and 
immovably at the gendemen Assimle [gende- 
men of the Assembly, i, e., judges], no matter 
what they said and asked, he having been in- 
structed to act thus by his lawyer. After they 


52 Description of tbe 

had tried it with him long enough, and when he 
was to go to prison, which was shouted aloud 
into his ear, he suddenly recovered his hearing. 
He excused himself, asked pardon, and said 
that when he forced the woman she screamed 
so terribly that he lost his hearing. But the 
woman started up and said: O, you godless 
rogue, how can you say so ? I did not speak a 
word at that time. Which he admitted, and 
said that was true, he only wanted this confes- 
sion from her. And why did she not cry? 
There had been people enough sleeping in the 
house that night. Whereupon she replied, if 
she had thought that she would get with child 
this time she would surely have cried for help. 
This called forth loud laughter among the 
young and old, and the defendant was acquitted 
of the charofe ag^ainst him. 

I will here quote another story which did not 
turn out so favorably for the man implicated in 
it. A purchased woman servant in an English 
house became pregnant by her master's pur- 
chased man servant. Being no longer able to 
conceal her condition, she reported it to her 
master, who was a Justice, which means as 
much as a judge or alderman. The master 
who was very angry over this lapse, said 
at last, from compassion with her: She would 
do herself a great wrong if she charged that 


XanD ipcnnsslvanla. 53 

loose bird with being the father of her child ; 
for in the first place his time of serving would 
not expire before a long time yet, and then he 
did not call a farthing his own, and besides she 
knew herself that he was a spendthrift and 
would never be able to support her and her 
child. But if she would follow him he would 
give her better advice, so that she and her 
child would be provided for in the future. The 
afflicted woman was very anxious to know it, 
and promised her master to follow his advice, 
entreating him to tell her wherein it consisted. 
Her master then warned her earnestly not to 
betray him, and told her to go to another Jus- 
tice, because he as her master might be consid- 
ered too partial in this case, and charge another 
unmarried man, whose name and good circum- 
stances were well known to her, with beino- the 
father of her child ; but she must stand to it 
[stick to it or, swear to it]. This advice 
pleased the woman quite well ; but on further 
consideration she went to another Justice, re- 
vealed her condition to him and stated that her 
master himself was the father of her child, and 
that she could stand to it, although her master 
would not confess it ; being a widower, he could 
and should keep her now. The Justice then 
administered the oath to her according to the 
English law ; this is done by kissing the Bible. 


54 Descriptton of tbe 

As soon as this was done he sent a constable 
for her master, this is customary in the land, 
and subjected him to a hearing. But as he 
would not confess, he had to go to prison and 
stay there so long till he promised in writing 
either to marry his pregnant servant woman or 
to pay her 200 pounds, which is 1200 florins in 
German money. Under such circumstances he 
chose to marry his servant woman, rather than 
give her 1200 florins. He himself acknowl- 
edged this as right and just, because he had 
advised her to charg^e an innocent man with 
being the father of her child. He was married 
to her on the spot. Such and similar cases 
happen frequently in that country, mainly be- 
cause the women enjoy such great liberties and 

Coming to speak of Pennsylvania again, that 
colony possesses great liberties above all other 
English colonies, inasmuch as all religious sects 
are tolerated there. We find there Lutherans, 
Reformed, Catholics, Quakers, Mennonists or 
Anabaptists, Herrnhuters or Moravian Breth- 
ren, Pietists, Seventh Day Baptists, Dunkers, 
Presbyterians, Newborn, Freemasons, Sepa- 
ratists, Freethinkers, Jews, Mohammedans, 
Pagans, Negroes and Indians. The Evangeli- 
cals and Reformed, however, are in the major- 
ity. But there are many hundred unbaptized 


XanO ipenns^lvania. 55 

souls there that do not even wish to be bap- 
tized. Many pray neither in the morning nor 
in the evening, neither before nor after meals. 
No devotional book, not to speak of a Bible, 
will be found with such people. In one house 
and one family, 4, 5, and even 6 sects, may be 

Liberty in Pennsylvania extends so far that 
every one is free from all molestation and taxa- 
tion on his property, business, house and es- 
tates. On a hundred acres of land a tax of no 
more than an English shilling is paid annually, 
which is called ground-rent or quit-rent ; a shil- 
ling is about 18 kreuzers of German money. A 
peculiarity, however, is that unmarried men and 
women pay from 2 to 5 shillings annually, ac- 
cording to their income, because they have no 
one but themselves to provide for. In Phila- 
delphia this money is applied to the purchase of 
the lights which burn every night in the streets 
of the city. 

This country was granted by the King of 
England to a distinguished Quaker named 
Penn, from whom the land of Pennsylvania 
takes its name. Even now there are some 
young Lords Von Penn who, however, do not 
reside in the country, but in London, in Old 
England. A. D. 1 754, a young Lord Von Penn 
was in the country. He renewed and con- 

56 Description ot tbc 

firmed all the former liberties with his signature, 
and made many presents to the Indians or 

No trade or profession in Pennsylvania is 
bound by guilds; every one may carry on 
whatever business he will or can, and if any 
one could or w-ould carry on ten trades; no one 
would have a right to prevent him ; and if, for 
instance, a lad as an apprentice, or through his 
own unaided exertions, learns his art or trade 
in six months, he can pass for a master, and 
may marry whenever he chooses. It is a sur- 
prising fact that young people who were born 
in this new land, are very clever, docile and 
skilful ; for many a one looks at a work of skill 
or art only a few times, and imitates it immedi- 
ately, while in Germany many a one has to 
learn for years to do the same thing perfectly. 
But here many a one is able to produce the 
most artful things in a short time. When the 
young folks have gone to school for six months, 
they are generally able to read anything. 

The land of Pennsylvania is a healthy land ; 
it has for the most part good soil, good air and 
water, many high mountains, and also much flat 
land ; it is very rich in wood ; where it is not 
inhabited a pure forest in which many small and 
large waters flow. The land is also very fertile, 
and all sorts of grain grow well. It is quite 


XanD IPcnnsBlvania. 57 

populous, too, inhabited far and wide, and sev- 
eral new towns have been founded here and 
there, as Philadelphia, Germantown, Lancaster, 
Rittengstaun [Reading], Bethlehem, and New- 
Frankfurt [Frankford]. There are also many 
churches built in the country ; but many people 
have to go a journey of 2, 3, 4, 5 to 10 hours to 
get to church; but all people, men and women, 
ride to church on horseback, though they had 
only half an hour to walk, which is customary 
also at funerals and weddings. Sometimes one 
can count at such country weddings and funer- 
als 300, 400, and even 500 persons on horse- 
back. It may be readily imagined that on such 
occasions, as also at the holy communion, no 
one appears in black clothes, crapes, or cloaks. 
I will give a somewhat more detailed account 
of the funeral customs. When some one has 
died, especially in the country, where on account 
of the intervening plantations and forests peo- 
ple live far from one another, the time appointed 
for the funeral is always indicated only to the 4 
nearest neighbors ; each of these in his turn 
notifies his own nearest neighbor. In this man- 
ner such an invitation to a funeral is made 
known more than fifty English miles around in 
24 hours. If it is possible, one or more per- 
sons from each house appear on horseback at 
the appointed time to attend the funeral. While 


58 2)e0crlptlon ot tbe 

the people are coming in, good cake cut into 
pieces is handed around on a large tin platter 
to those present; each person receives then in 
a goblet, a hot West India Rum punch, into 
which lemon, sugar and juniper berries are put, 
which orive it a delicious taste. After this, hot 
and sweetened cider is served. This custom at 
the funeral assemblies in America is just the 
same as that at the wedding gatherings in 
Europe. When the people have nearly all 
assembled, and the time for the burial has 
come, the dead body is carried to the general 
burial-place, or where that is too far away, the 
deceased is buried in his own field. The as- 
sembled people ride all in silence behind the 
coffin, and sometimes one can count from lOO 
to 500 persons on horseback. The coffins are 
all made of fine walnut wood and stained brown 
with a shining varnish. Well-to-do people have 
four finely-wrought brass handles attached to 
the coffin, by which the latter is held and carried 
to the grave. If the deceased person was a 
young man, the body is carried to the grave by 
four maidens, while that of a deceased maiden 
is carried by four unmarried men. 

It is no unusual thing in this countr}^ to hear 
a totally unlearned man preaching in the open 
field, for the sectarians say and believe that the 
scholars of the present day are no longer 


%nr\t> lpenn6i2lvania. 59 

apostles, and that they are only making a trade 
of their learning. Nevertheless, there are many 
excellent preachers in Pennsylvania who, by the 
grace of God and by their indefatigable toil, 
have converted many souls to the Christian 
faith; I myself have witnessed how our evan- 
gelical ministers have baptized and confirmed 
many adult persons, both white and black. 
Such an act is always attended by a large con- 
course of people. But I am sorry to say that 
there are also quite unworthy preachers who 
give offence to many people, and who furnish 
the sectarians with arguments, to the great 
annoyance of our ministers. I will quote here 
an example of such an objectionable preacher. 
One by the name of Alexander, of Oley town- 
ship, said in a meeting of young farmers, with 
whom he had been drinking and carousing, that 
he would preach so that all his hearers who 
stood in front of him would weep, but those 
that stood behind him must all laugh. To this 
effect he bet a considerable sum with said young 
farmers. On the appointed day he appeared 
at a church-meeting, took his stand in the 
middle of the people, and began to hold a touch- 
ing and pathetic sermon. Seeing that his hear- 
ers were moved to tears, he put his hands 
behind him, drew his coat-tails asunder, exhibit- 
ing a pair of badly-torn breeches through which 


60 Description ot tbe 

his bare posterior, which he scratched with one 
hand, shone forth, so that those who stood be- 
hind him could not help roaring with laughter. 
Thus he had won his wager. This disgusting 
affair was published in the English and German 
newspapers of Philadelphia. The sectarians 
said often to those of our own faith that such 
men were the false prophets that went about in 
sheep's clothing, but were in fact rapacious 
wolves. But this is a source of great annoy- 
ance and vexation to all righteous teachers and 
good pastors. 

There are at present many good English, 
Swedish, Dutch and German preachers of the 
Lutheran and the Reformed churches in Penn- 
sylvania, of whom the following are very well 
known to me. Among the English, the three 
brothers Tennent and Mr. Dait. Three Swed- 
ish ministers who are very closely associated 
with our preachers and hold yearly conferences 
with them. But the German Evangelical Luth- 
eran preachers are: Mr. Muhlenberg, senior, 
in Providence township and New Hanover. 
Mr. Bruxholz, in Philadelphia. Mr. Hand- 
scHUH, in Germantown, Mr. Kurz, in Tul- 
pehocken. Mr. Wagner, in Readingstoun 
( Reading). Mr. Heinzelmann, in Philadelphia. 
Mr. ScHULz, Mr. Weygand, Mr. Schrenk, Mr. 
Schartel, in the Blue Mountains. Mr. Hart- 


XanD Pennsylvania. 61 

wiCH, in New York. Mr. Gorack, in Lancas- 
ter. Reformed ministers are ; Mr. Schlatter, 
Mr. Steiner, Mr. Siebele, Mr. Weiss, Mr. 
Michael, Mr. Streitter, and Mr. Laidig, with- 
out mentioning the Dutch and others whose 
names are not known to me. 

The preachers in Pennsylvania receive no 
salaries or tithes, except what they annually get 
from their church members, which varies very 
much ; for many a father of a family gives ac- 
cording to his means and of his own free will 2, 
3, 4, 5 or 6 florins a year, but many others give 
very little. For baptizing children, for funeral 
sermons and marriage ceremonies they gener- 
ally receive a dollar. The preachers have no 
free dwellings or other beneficia. But they re- 
ceive many presents from their parishioners. 
The same is true of the schoolmasters. But 
since 1754 England and Holland give annually 
a large sum of money for the general benefit of 
the many poor in Pennsylvania, and for the 
support of 6 Reformed English churches and as 
many Reformed English free schools. Never- 
theless, many hundred children cannot attend 
these schools, on account of their great distance 
and the many forests. Many planters lead, 
therefore, a very wild and heathenish life ; for 
as it is with the schools, so it is also with the 
churches in the rural districts, because churches 


62 Description of tbe 

and school-houses are usually built around at 
such places only, where most neighbors and 
church members live/-' 

The preachers throughout Pennsylvania have 
no power to punish any one, or to compel any 
one to go to church ; nor lias any one a right 

* In an English publication, which treats of the condition 
of the immigrants who have settled in Penns}'lvania, Vir- 
ginia, Maryland, etc., the following is reported among other 
things : From the most trustworthy accounts which we have 
of these provinces, it appears that the number of immi- 
grants there has increased exceedingly within the last few 
years. They consist for the most part of Palatines, Fran- 
conians, and Swiss. In the Colony of Pennsylvania alone 
there are over 100,000; of these about 20,000 belong to 
the Reformed, nearly as many to the Lutheran, and about 
1700 to the Roman Catholic religion. The rest consists 
of Anabaptists, Moravians, Brethren of Zion, Rondorfers, 
and other Separatists. As among the latter almost every 
one is his own teacher, it may be said of them that they 
have their tenets (if the inanities of these people may be 
called so) better by heart than many of the other denomi- 
nations ; for although not a few pious and illumined Chris- 
tians may be found among the latter, by far the majority 
live in the deepest ignorance, which must be ascribed to 
the want of sufficient preachers and schoolmasters, the in- 
habitants lacking the means for their support. The author 
of this publication closes with the wish that the nation of 
Great Britain might duly consider the condition of their 
brethren, both in a spiritual and worldly aspect, and do for 
them what is necessarj^ to have in them a constant bulwark 
in America against all their enemies. 


ILanD Pennsylvania. 63 

to dictate to the other, because they are not 
supported by any Consistoi'io. Most preachers 
are hired by the year hke the cowherds in Ger- 
many; and if one does not preach to their Hk- 
ing, he must expect to be served with a notice 
that his services will no longer be required. It 
is, therefore, very difficult to be a conscientious 
preacher, especially as they have to hear and 
suffer much from so many hostile and often 
wicked sects. The most exemplary preachers 
are often reviled, insulted and scoffed at like 
the Jews, by the young and old, especially in 
the country I would, therefore, rather perform 
the meanest herdsman's duties in Germany 
than be a preacher in Pennsylvania. Such 
unheard-of rudeness and wickedness spring 
from the excessive liberties of the land, and 
from the blind zeal of the many sects. To 
many a one's soul and body, liberty in Penn- 
sylvania is more hurtful than useful. There is 
a saying in that country: Pennsylvania is the 
heaven of the farmers, the paradise of the 
mechanics, and the hell of the officials and 

The Governor in my time, had his residence 
in Philadelphia, his name was Hamilton. Every 
6 years a new Governor is elected by the King 
and Parliament of England, and sent there 
to govern in the name of the King; but the 


64 Description ot tbe 

land and most of the revenues belone to a 
Quaker by the name of Penn, hence also the 
city of Philadelphia and the land are densely 
peopled by Quakers. 

Provisions are cheap in Pennsylvania, but 
everything that is manufactured and brought 
into the country is three or four times as dear 
as in" Germany. Wood, salt and sugar, ex- 
cepted. Otherwise we can purchase in Ger- 
many as much with one florin as here with 4 or 
5 florins. Nevertheless, the people live well, 
especially on all sorts of grain, which thrives 
very well, because the soil is wild and fat. 
They grow chiefly rye, wheat, barley, oats, 
buckwheat, corn, flax, hemp, fruit, cabbage and 
turnips. They also have good cattle, fast 
horses, and many bees. The sheep, which are 
larger than the German ones, have generally 
two lambs a year. Hogs and poultry, especially 
turkeys, are raised by almost everybody. In 
this country the chickens are not put in houses 
by night, nor are they looked after; but they 
sit summer and winter upon the trees near the 
houses; every evening many a tree is so full of 
chickens that the boughs bend beneath them. 
The poultry is in no danger from beasts of prey, 
because every plantation owner has a big dog, 
if not more, at large around his house. 

Even in the humblest and poorest houses in 


ILanO IPenns^lvania. 65 

this country there is no meal without meat, and 
no one eats the bread without butter or cheese, 
although the bread is as good as with us. It is 
very annoying, however, that nothing but salt 
meat is eaten in summer, and rarely fresh meat 
in winter. 

On account of the extensive stock-raising, 
meat is very cheap ; one can buy the best beef 
for 3 kreuzers a pound, pork and mutton for 2 
kreuzers and 3 hellers. Besides, one can buy 
at the market of Philadelphia many kinds of 
meat, venison, poultry, fish and birds, as one 
chooses, for very litde money. I don't think 
that there is any country in which more meat is 
eaten and consumed than in Pennsylvania. 
The English know litde or nothing of soup 
eating ; bread and butter and cheese are always 
their dessert, and because sugar, tea and coffee, 
are very cheap, they drink coffee and the like 
2 or 3 times daily. The common sugar costs 
10 kr. a pound, the best 15 kr. Coffee is of the 
same price ; rice costs 3 kr. a pound. Ve^-e- 
tables of every description are raised in abund- 
ance. A bushel of salt can be bought for 15 
kr., and timber and wood for fuel every one has 
for nothing. Market is held twice a week in 
Philadelphia; it always attracts a great con- 
course of people. The ordinary meat stalls 
which are over 100 feet long, hang on both 


66 ©escription ot tbc 

sides full of all kinds of meat, which is always 
bought up and consumed by the numerous 
population, not to mention the many fish, game, 
all sorts of poultry, and especially the marvel- 
ously large lobsters, whose claws are each as 
laree as a man's hand. 

Turtles I often saw of a size that it took a 
man to carry one. A hen costs 6 kreuzers, and 
eggs are sometimes to be had 20 for a hatzen 
{4 kr.). A turkey is worth 24 to 30 kr. A 
bushel of rye, 2 shillings, or 36 kr. A bushel 
of good wheat, 3 shillings or 54 kr. Fruit sells 
well ; it is mostly taken across the sea to other 
countries. But all other goods cost twice or 
three times as much as in Germany, because 
they have to be taken all the way there ; there- 
fore, what can be bought for a llorin in Ger- 
many, costs 4 or 5 tl. in Pennsylvania and the 
neio-hborincr countries. Domestic linen, which 
costs from 15 to 18 kreuzers in Germany, brings 
40 kr. or even a llorin in these English colonies. 
A pair of man's shoes costs 2 to 3 florins, and 
even more ; a pair of stockings quite as much. 

Of beverages there are many kinds in Penn- 
sylvania and the other English colonies ; in the 
first place, delicious and healthy water; sec- 
ondly, they make a mixture of milk and three 
parts water ; thirdly, good apple cider ; fourthly, 
small beer; fifthly, delicious English strong, 


XanD ipcnns^lvania. 67 

sweet beer; sixthly, punch, which consists of 
three parts water and one part West India rum 
(when no rum is to be had, brandy is taken, but 
rum is much pleasanter), mixed with sugar and 
lemon juice ; seventhly, sinkere [sangaree], 
which is still more delicious to drink ; this is 
made of two parts water and one part Spanish 
wine with sugar and nutmeg ; and eighthly, 
German and Spanish wines, to be had plentifully 
at all taverns ; of the latter, a quart costs a rix- 
dollar. Mixed drinks are all drunk from china 
vessels, which are called poole [bowls], and are 
formed like a soup-dish. 

All trades and professions have good earn- 
ings ; beggars are nowhere to be seen, for each 
county or township cares and provides for its 
poor. In the country the people live so far 
from one another that many a one has to walk 
fifteen minutes or half an hour to get to his 
nearest neighbor. The reason is because many 
a farmer has 50 or 100 and even 200 — 400 
acres of land, laid out in orchards, meadows, 
fields and woods. Such a one has usually 10, 
15 or 20 acres in orchards alone, from which a 
great deal of cider and brandy is made. 

Peach and cherry trees many a farmer plants 
in whole avenues from one plantation to the 
other, and they yield an abundant crop. One 
sort of peaches are inside and outside red, as 


68 Description of tbe 

large as a lemon, but round and smooth, and 
they are ripe about St, Bartholomew's day. 
Again there are some waxen yellow, red 
streaked, and green as grass. There is also a 
sort called clingstones; they are sweet when 
they are ripe ; they are often preserved before 
they are quite ripe, like cucumbers. Pears 
there are but few, and damsons none, because 
they will not thrive and are often spoiled by the 

Every farmer pastures his cattle, horses and 
sheep on his own farm, or lets them run about 
in the bushes, and brings them home in the 
evening and morning to have the cows milked, 
and then lets them run at largre agfain all nicrht 
till morning; so that the animals find their own 
food and need not be fed daily as in Germany. 
No catde are stabled during the summer, 
except when a cow is to calve; but frequently 
one seeks and finds the old and the young 
together in the forest, or a cow comes unex- 
pectedly home with her calf. Throughout the 
whole province no shepherd or cowherd is 
needed, because all cattle and sheep are kept 
in fenced fields or let run at large in the fields, 
where they find plenty of food and moreover 
spoil much in many places. 

In the rural districts of Pennsylvania the new- 
born children are not brought to church to re- 

XanO ipenns^lvanfa. 69 

ceive the holy baptism till they are a fortnight, 
several weeks, three or six months, and some- 
times a whole year old; so that such large and 
wild children often kick at the preacher or 
baptist, thus giving rise to laughter. Many 
Pennsylvanian mothers are in the habit of suck- 
ling their unruly babies in church, even during 
the holy baptism. Many parents act as spon- 
sors for their own children, because they have 
no faith or confidence in other people in this 
important point; for which they are not to be 
blamed, for many a one will not say what he 
believes. Others, although baptized them- 
selves, will not permit their children to be bap- 
tized. When questioned about it they answer 
they can see no difference between the baptized 
and the unbaptized young people; that no one 
keeps his baptismal vows, and that it is not 
necessary, therefore, to pay the minister a dol- 
lar for it. In my school in Pennsylvania I had 
many adult persons of either sex who, in 
answer to my question if they had been bap- 
tized, said: No, what's the use of it? Where- 
upon I endeavored to shake their unbelief by 
quoting Nicodemus' conversation with Jesus, 
and thus I brought many young people to a 
recognition of the necessity of the holy baptism, 
so that they became quite anxious and desired 
to be baptized. Some were also eager to learn 


70 Description of tbe 

the principal points of the whole Evangelical 
Christian doctrine, which many parents would 
not permit, saying that they did not send their 
children to school to learn a faith, but to learn 
to read and write as much as was necessary. 

In Pennsylvania, as throughout North Amer- 
ica, from Acadia to Mexico, plenty of wild 
black and white vines may be seen, which grow 
in the forests around the oak-trees and along 
the hedges. Many a vine is at the bottom as 
thick as a tree, and it often is so full of grapes 
that the boughs of the trees bend beneath them. 
In the blossom time the grapes have a very 
strong odor, and in October they are ripe. 
They make some wine of them, but it costs 
much sugar. Large quantities of grapes are 
taken to the market of Philadelphia. Such 
grapes would be much better if the vines w^ere 
cut as in Europe ; but as the people live too far 
apart, and as the wild animals and birds would 
do much injury to the vines, there will be no 
vine growing for a long time to come. 

Sassafras trees, which are not to be found in 
Europe, are plentiful here ; the best breast-tea 
can be made of its blossoms ; the wood and the 
roots are especially good for medicines. There 
are trees that are as thick as a man around the 
loins. The leaves look and smell like laurel 
leaves ; the blossoms are gold-colored, just like 


XanD iPennsislvania. 71 

the primrose, but much finer. For my home- 
journey, I collected and took with me a package 
of sassafras flowers or blossoms, which were 
my best medicine on my voyage. 

There are many sugar- trees* here which are 
as thick and high as an oak-tree; in spring, 
when they are in full sap, the sugar-water may 
be tapped from them. I tried it myself, and in 
March when they begin to flow, I bored a hole 
at the bottom of the tree through the bark and 
inserted a small tube made of a quill, through 
which the sugar-water flowed, just as one clari- 
fies brandy. In fifteen minutes I had a small 
tumbler full of sugar-water. The people who 
gather such sugar- water, fill a kettle with it and 
let it boil till it is thick, and when it has become 
cold it is a thick honey. The sugar-trees 
usually stand in forests near the brooks, and 
they grow wild. 

The beautiful tulip-trees f grow frequently 
there. In the month of May, when they are in 
blossoms, they are full of tulips; these look 
yellow and tabbied red, and are as natural as 

* This species of trees is described under the name of 
maple-trees in the History of the French Colonies of North 
America, p. 213. M. De Diereville calls them wild fig-trees. 

t These tulip-trees are known to the French in Louisiana 
under the name of tulipier as a sort of laurel-trees. See 
the above quoted book, p. 334. 


Description ot tbe 

those that grow out of the ground [from bulbs]. 
The trees are as thick and high as the tallest 
cherry-trees. I saw another species of tulip- 
trees with their blossoms, which are planted in 
the gardens, but are not larger than dwarf apple 
or pear trees ; they do not bloom until August, 
and are white and tabbied red. Of the first- 
named larger species of tulip-trees no blossoms 
are seen until they are 20 years old and over. 
Many other kinds and species of trees, flowers 
and herbs, and also grain are found in America. 
The daisy, for instance, which is so frequent and 
therefore so litde esteemed with us, is as rare 
in Pennsylvania as the rarest and most beautiful 
flowers in Europe can be, for it is planted in the 
gardens as a rare flower. Quite as rare there, 
is the juniper-shrub, which is esteemed much 
higher than the rosemary with us, and the 
juniper-berries are sold for a higher price than 
peppercorns. The juniper-shrubs are also cul- 
tivated in gardens. Quite as rare are all other 
European flowers and herbs. And so, what is 
not highly esteemed in Germany is rare and 
dear in America; and vice-versa, what is not 
highly esteemed here is precious in Germany. 
The Germans who have emigrated to America 
miss many good things there, the Wijrtemberg- 
ers and Rhinelanders especially the generous 

juice of the grape. 


XauD Pennsylvania. 73 

All through Pennsylvania not a single 
meadow-saffron is seen in the gardens and 
meadows in autumn. 

The wood in the above-named new country- 
grows fast and is much taller, but less durable 
than with us. It is quite surprising how dense 
the forests are, and what beautiful, smooth, 
thick and tall trees they contain. There are 
many kinds of trees, mosdy oaks, but they are 
not so fruitful as those in Germany. After 
these there are also beech-trees, but not many. 
Birch- trees are rarely found, but I saw some 
that were very tall and as thick as a thick oak- 
tree. I have already spoken of the poplars; 
they have soft wood which looks snow-white 
inside; there are many of them. Walnut-trees 
are exceedingly plentiful ; this beautiful coffee- 
brown and hard wood is precious and useful, 
because all sorts of fine and elegant household 
furniture are made of it. When cut, a great 
deal of it is shipped to Holland, England, Ire- 
land and other countries where it brines a hieh 
price. These walnut-trees bear every year nuts 
which are as large as a medium-sized apple, 
from which much oil is made. They have bark 
and leaves like our large nut-trees. Our large 
German walnut-trees are little cultivated as yet. 
There are but few hazel-nut shrubs in the 
forests, but of chestnut-trees there is a multi- 
tude ; 

74 2)e0crlption of tbe 

tude; no less so of Hecker (hickory) nuts which 
are larger than hazel-nuts, but are held in litde 
esteem. Indian or wild-cherry trees are not 
seen very frequendy; I myself broke such 
Indian cherries from the trees and ate them, but 
they are not so good as European cherries. In 
the Pennsylvania forests one finds no thorn or 
sloe hedges, no downy gooseberries and the 
like. The greatest ornament of the forests are 
the beautiful and excellent cedar-trees; they 
grow mostly in the high mountains. This wood 
has a very strong odor, is as light as foam, and 
especially precious for organ-pipes; for the 
pipes made of said cedar-wood have a much 
finer and purer tone than those of tin, of which 
I have seen sufficient proofs. All houses in 
Philadelphia are roofed with shingles of cedar- 
wood. When a heavy rain pours down upon 
it, this wood sounds like a roof of copper or 

No May-bugs or cock-chafers are seen in this 
country in spring ; but every fifth year it has a 
terrible plague of vermin caWed Locki's [locusts],* 
which are somewhat larger than the May-bugs 
and can do immense injury to fields and forests. 
Red and white snails are not found here, and 
the frogs have a very different voice. They do 

* This creature seems to be a species of grasshoppers. 
Perhaps the word Lockis is derived from Locusta. 


XanD ipennsi^lvanfa. 75 

not croak or quack, but yelp. And this yelping 
begins as early as March. 

In America there are quite different kinds of 
birds to be seen from those in Europe. Of 
birds which are precisely like our European 
ones, no others are found but ravens, swallows, 
and the little hedge-sparrows. The American 
birds are most beautiful ; their splendid colors 
and lovely song are above all praise. In the 
first place there are birds which are yellow and 
have black wings ; secondly, red ones with black 
wings ; thirdly, altogether yellow ones ; fourthly, 
starlings which are larger than ours, look quite 
blue and have red wings ; fifthly, brilliant red 
ones with plumes on their head ; sixthly, entirely 
blue ones ; seventhly, white ones with black 
wings ; eighthly, many-colored ones ; ninthly, 
grass-green ones with red heads ; tenthly, there 
is a species which is black, white and pied. 
These birds can imitate the singing and whist- 
ling of all birds ; in half an hour such a bird can 
imitate more than 30 birds successfully. There 
is a species of birds that call in summer all day 
long quite plainly: "Get you gone! Get you 
gone ! " Another, which is heard mostly by 
night, calls : "Wipperwill ! Wipperwill ! " [Whip- 
poor-Will] ; it is called by that name. We find 
in Pennsylvania no storks, no magpie, no cuckoo, 
no lark, no yellow-hammer, no nightingale, no 


76 Description of tbe 

quail, no thistle-bird or gold-finch, no canary- 
bird, no black-bird, no tom-tit, no robin-red- 
breast, no red-wing, and no sparrow. It may be 
that some of the Pennsylvania birds resemble the 
above-named somewhat, but they are not alto- 
gether like them ; there is a difference either in 
size, or in color, or in the song, or in something 
else. Thus we mio-ht consider the bird that calls 
out his " Get you gone ! " in almost the same 
measure in which our quails call, as a quail ; but 
it has a small tail, such as our quails do not have. 
The most wonderful bird, not only in Penn- 
sylvania, but perhaps in the whole world, is a 
small bird which is rarely seen. This little bird 
is not quite so large as a May-bug, but only 
as larofe as a orold-bird. It orlitters like orold, 
and sometimes it appears green, blue and 
red. Its beak is rather long, and as sharp as a 
needle ; its feet are like fine wire. It sips only 
the honey from the flowers ; hence it has the 
name of su^ar-bird.* It builds its nest in the 


* Father Charlevoix describes it under the name of fly- 
bird, and shows that it is even handsomer than the hum- 
ming-bird. See the History and Trade of the French 
Colonies of North America, published by Mezler, p. 248. 
But we will hear another author with respect to this rare 
bird. This is M. De Diereville, in his Journey to Acadia, 
which is found in the Collection of Journeys, published in 


UauD ipcnns^lvania. 77 

flowers in a garden ; the nest is not larger than 
a cupping-glass, but there are generally 4 or 5 
young ones in it. It moves its wings with in- 
describable swiftness, making a loud hissing 


Gottingen. From his work, p. 237, we quote the following : 
We shall now speak of little birds whose eggs have no such 
depredations to fear, because they are no larger than hemp- 
seed ; these are the eggs of the humming-birds or fly-birds, 
which are the finest in the world, and whose colors are so 
lively that it seems as if they emitted fiery sparks beneath 
their throats, especially the males. It is impossible to im- 
agine anything more varied and at the same time more 
brilliant than these colors. But these birds are only seen 
at the time of the year when there are flowers, for they fly 
like bees from one to the other, in order to sip the sweet 
juice from the pale as well as the reddish ones. All these 
various movements they perform with the utmost swiftness ; 
no other bird equals them in this respect, and they can 
scarcely be seen when they whir through the air. The 
same nimbleness they show in all that they do. They do 
not, for instance, settle upon the flowers in order to suck 
the sweet honey-juice concealed in their delicate tubes ; 
but they only flap their wings incessantly and with such 
swiftness around the flower that it is impossible to describe 
it. The way how nature, the wise moulder, has formed the 
beak and tongue of these little birds is really admirable. 
Their black and thin, pointed and almost perfectly straight 
beak is about a finger's breadth in length ; their delicate 
split tongue is twice as long. Inserting the latter into a 
flower and moving it constantly, they fill it with the sweet- 
ness contained in every flower. 


78 Descriptton of tbe 

with them. When it does not fly, one can hear 
it sing very softly and gracefully when one 
is fortunate enough to get quite near it. I 

By means of a natural force peculiar to the tongue this 
juice is subsequently led into their little stomachs, and it 
constitutes their sole food. They have a light gray belly, a 
silver-green back, and a black tail with white spots ; their 
black wings and legs fit their little bodies perfectly; the 
body is no thicker than the point of a child's finger. And 
in The Account of Nova Scotia, 8mo, Frankfort, 1750, p. 
174 f., this bird is described as follows: Among all birds 
that occur here the most curious is the murmur (hummer, 
humming-bird), of which there are two species. The one 
is exceedingly small, with all its feathers not larger than a 
small fly. The other makes a big noise in the ears like 
the humming of a large fly, which is not much larger. 
Its claws, which are of the length of a thumb's breadth, 
seem to be fine needles, and so also its beak, which is 
merely the case of another beak which it puts out and 
sticks into the middle of the flowers, in order to extract 
the honey which is its food. In short, this creature is wor- 
thy to be called an ornament of nature. This bird w^ears 
a black plume on its crest which is of extraordinary beauty ; 
its breast resembles the most beautiful rose-color one can 
see, and its belly is as white as milk. Its back, wings 
and tail are of the finest gray color that resembles a 
rose, and shaded all around with a brilliant gold color. 
Its down, which can hardly be seen, and which covers 
its whole plumage, is wavelike, which gives it so delicate 
an appearance that it resembles a flower; all this 
is so delicate and pretty that it is impossible to de- 
scribe it. 


!ILan5 ipenns^lvanla. 7» 

will not say for how much money this little bird 
is sometimes bought by great people. But 
they do not live long, as it is impossible to fur- 
nish them with their proper food. 

In Pennsylvania multitudes of fish can be 
caught every spring in the Delaware and 
Schuylkill rivers, and lots of wild pigeons can 
be shot twice a year, viz., in spring when they 
migrate to the north, and in fall when they 
come back and migrate to the south. The fish 
ascend at their season from the sea, and what 
are not caught go about the end of May back 
into the sea. These fish are an ell long and 
almost half an ell broad ; so many are often 
caught that many a one salts a whole barrel or 
tub full of them, enough for a year ; when one 
wants to eat some, they are laid in fresh water 
over night, then washed and fried. In the same 
manner the pigeons, too, are salted and eaten 
in winter.* 

There is not so much game and wild-fowl 
around Philadelphia as there formerly was, be- 
cause that region is thickly inhabited, and be- 
cause every one may shoot what he will. But 
the farther one gets into the country the less it 
is inhabited, and the more one finds of all kinds 
of game, especially much feathered game, and 

* With respect to these pigeons, see above quoted book, 
p. 306. 


«o Description of tbe 

many a one supports himself in this country by 

In Pennsylvania one finds in summer time 
many species of snakes and other vermin, 
especially in the Blue Mountains. Many a 
snake, lo, 12, 15, and even 18 feet long has 
been seen there, and many persons and animals 
have been mortally bitten by these terrible and 
dangerous creatures. There are black and 
vi^hite, green and gray snakes, also black ones 
with yellow stripes. Among these the rattle- 
snakes are the largest and worst; but in some 
respects the black snakes, which are 12 to 1 5 
feet long, and as thick as an arm, are even more 
dangerous, inasmuch as they have a marvelous 
power to charm, and that only by their steady 
glance ; so that every creature, be it a hare, a 
bird or a squirrel, must come down from the 
trees and close up to them, when they pounce 
upon it and devour it.* They can climb the 
tallest oaks and other trees, and they are also 
able to charm little children, so that they must 
stand still before them. The children cry pite- 

* This account sounds rather strange, and I should be 
inclined to regard it as a fable palmed off upon the author 
if I had not read the same in the Description of Nova 
Scotia, above alluded to, pp. 213, 214. But here the 
power of fascinating is ascribed to the rattle-snakes, while 
our author attributes it to the black snakes, 


XanO ipenns^lvania. 81 

ously, and it has often happened that they were 
saved, and that large snakes were found lying 
before them. The rattle-snakes are in part 
even larger than the above-mentioned species ; 
many of them are more than i8 feet long and 
as thick as a hay pole. These snakes have at 
their rear end rattle-tails with which they can 
rattle so that it can be heard from afar. They 
rattle whenever they are angry or see any- 
body. They add every year a new ring to 
their rattle-tails. These snakes have scales like 
the fish; the scales are black, blue and green, 
and look like mother-of-pearl. Snakes have 
frequently crept into the houses and even into 
the beds of people who live in the woods, so 
that the people lay on them in the night till the 
snakes grow restless beneath the weight, where- 
upon they are driven out and killed. 

One of the beauties of Pennsylvania are the 
fire-flies that fly about so plentifully by night in 
the summer time, that it seems as if it were 
snowing fire. Some years ago a newly arrived 
German man was badly scared by them ; for as 
he was working in the field late one evening, 
and some fire-flies, which were totally unknown 
to him, were flying about him, our honest Hans 
was so frightened that he dropped everything 
and ran hastily home. As he came in fear and 
trembling to his family, he said: "O God, shield 


82 Description of tbc 

and protect us! How many fiery spirits fly 
about in this country! O God, would I were in 
Germany again! " 

The Blue Mountains He in Pennsylvania, 
about thirty hours' journey from Philadelphia. 
This mountain range begins at the Delaware 
River, and passes to the left across the country, 
and reaches as far as the ereat river Ohio. It 
is very high, and it can therefore be seen 
already in the Delaware Bay before we get to 
Philadelphia. These Blue Mountains extend 
over 40 hours' journey. 

Of the savages, or Indians, who hold inter- 
course with the English, there is a great multi- 
tude; they live even beyond the Ohio, and the 
Hudson River on which Albany lies ; therefore 
on both sides to the right and left of Pennsyl- 
vania. These two waters, which are very large, 
are about 100 hours' journey from Philadel- 
phia. These savages live in the bush in huts, 
away from said waters, and so far inland that 
no one is able to find the end of the habitations 
of these savages. The farther we oret into the 
country, the more savages we see. They sup- 
port themselves in various ways; some shoot 
game, others dig roots, some raise tobacco and 
Indian corn or maize, which they eat raw or 
boiled; besides, they deal also in all sorts of 
hides, in beaver-skins and costly furs. 


XanD ff»cnn6Blvanfa. 83 

The savaofes that Hve on the borders of the 
Europeans are frequently seen ; some of them 
understand a little English. I myself have 
several times seen whole families ; once I had 
occasion, at the request of Captain Von Diemer, 
to play the organ to a savage family, when they 
became very gay and manifested their surprise 
and joy by signs and genuflections. These 
Indians, who walk about amid other people, 
wear instead of clothes, blankets, such as are 
usually used as covers for the horses; these 
they have hanging uncut and unsewed about 
their bare bodies. They wear no coverings on 
their heads or on their feet. The form of 
their bodies does not differ from ours, except 
that they look dark yellow, which, however, is 
not their natural color, for they besmear and 
stain themselves thus; but at their birth they 
are born as white as we are. Both men and 
women have long, smooth hair on their heads; 
the men do not tolerate beards; and when in 
their youth, the hairs begin to grow, they pull 
them out immediately; they have, therefore, 
smooth faces like the women. On account of 
the lacking beard and the sameness in dressing, 
it is not easy to distinguish the men from the 
women. When these savages wish to be good- 
looking, they paint their cheeks and foreheads 
red, hang their ears with strings of false beads 


84 Description of tbe 

of an ell's length. They wear neither shirts, 
nor breeches, nor coats beneath their blankets. 
In their wilderness where they live the young 
and old go about naked in the summer 
time. Every autumn they come in large 
crowds to the city of Philadelphia, bringing 
with them all sorts of little baskets which they 
make quite neatly and beautifully, many skins 
and costly furs. Besides these things they 
trade off to the Governor, when they are as- 
sembled, a tract of land of more than a thou- 
sand acres, which is yet all forest. In the 
name of the country and the city they are 
annually presented with many things, such as 
blankets, guns, rum or brandy and the like; on 
which occasion they make merry with their 
own strange Indian songs, especially when they 
are drunk. No one understands their lan- 
guage; some of them who come much in con- 
tact with the English, can speak a little English. 
There are very strong, tall and courageous 
people among them. In their language they 
tJioit and tJice everybody, even the Governor, 
and they can run as fast as the deer. When 
you speak to them of the true and everlasting 
God, the Creator of heaven and earth, they do 
not understand it, but answer simph': They be- 
lieve that there are two men, a good one and a 
bad one; that the good one had made every- 


XanJ) ipcnnsslvania. 85 

thing good, and the bad one had made every- 
thing bad ; that it was not necessary, therefore, 
to pray to the good one, as he was doing no 
one any harm; but the bad one should be 
prayed to that he might do no one any harm. 
Of a resurrection of the dead, a salvation, 
heaven or hell, they know and understand 
nothing. They bury their dead where they 
die. I have often been told by truthful 
people that very old savages that can hardly 
move any longer, or break down on the way, 
are simply killed and buried. But if a savage 
kills another, unless it be in war or on account 
of old aee, whether the murdered was one of 
our or one of their own people, the murderer 
must surely die. They take him first to their 
Indian King to be tried, and thence to die place 
where the murder was committed, slay him 
suddenly, bury him on the spot, and cover 
his grave with much wood and stones. On the 
other hand, they must likewise be given satis- 
faction in similar cases, otherwise they would 
treat an innocent person of our people in like 

When the savages come to the city of Phila- 
delphia and see the handsome and magnificent 
buildings there, they wonder and laugh at the 
Europeans for expending so much toil and cost 
on houses. They say that it is quite unneces- 

86 Description of tbc 

sary, as one can live without such houses. Still 
more they wonder at the garments of the Euro- 
peans and their costly finery ; they will even 
spit out when they see it. 

When a savage couple are betrothed, the 
man gives his affianced bride a piece of a deer's 
leg into her hand, whereby he gives to under- 
stand that he will nourish his future wife with 
meat; his affianced, on the other hand, gives 
him an ear of corn, in token that she will pro- 
vide her future husband and children with 
bread. Thus they care for each other, and re- 
main together until death parts them. 

Old savages have often been questioned 
about their descent and origin, and they have 
answered that all they knew or could say was 
this; that their great-grandparents had lived in 
these same wildernesses, and that it was not 
right that the Europeans came and took their 
lands away from them. For this reason they 
must move farther and farther back in the wil- 
derness to find game for their food. 

The weapon with which these savages shoot 
is a round bow, in the front centre of which they 
place a sharp and pointed stone of a finger's 
length; in the rear it is rather more than an 
inch wide, and on both sides as sharp as a knife; 
they aim accurately with it, and when they have 
wounded a deer which will not fall they run 


OLanO ipenns^lvanla. 87 

after it till they get it, for they can run faster 
than a horse. In witness of this I have brought 
such a stone home with me wherewith the Indi- 
ans, or savages, have shot game. This was 
their only shooting weapon before they obtained 
guns from the Europeans. 

There is something remarkable that was dis- 
covered by Rev. Mr. Schartel or Schartlin, 
who was a minister in Zell and Altbach in the 
Duchy of Wurtemberg, but who now serves as 
a preacher in Pennsylvania, in the township of 
Magunsche [Macungy] in the Blue Mountains. 
Some 60 miles from Philadelphia, A. D. lysSr 
when he had gone astray and was seeking the 
right way, he chanced to find in the wilderness, 
in a small wooded hill, a stone door frame which 
stuck in the ground. At first he thought it was 
a work of nature; but when he had rubbed off 
the moss with which it was overgrown, and 
when he regarded it attentively, he found in the 
upper stone a legend chiseled out in Hebrew, in 
the followinfj words: Thus far the God of 
Joshua has helped us. 

But although so many foundations for build- 
ing houses have been laid here and there 
throughout this new country, and although so 
laree tracts of woods and fields have been 
cleared far and wide, nowhere, except beside a 
small creek near Philadelphia, have traces of 


Description of tbe 

old habitations been found, such as hewn stones 
laid one upon the other, from which it could 
have been surmised that some building must 
have been standing on the spot before the time 
of the savages. 

In Pennsylvania everything is paid for with 
stamped paper money, for which one can have 
and buy whatever one wishes. Said paper 
money is printed in the English language, and 
with the Kind's coat-of-arms and the Gov- 
ernor's name. The smallest piece makes 3 
kr.,=== the 2d 4 kr., the 3d 6 kr., the 4th 9 kr., 
the 5th 15 kr., the 6th 20 kr., the 7th 30 kr., 
the 8th is half a crown which makes 42 kr., the 
9th is a whole crown which makes as much 
again, and the loth is a twenty-shilling bill 
which is one pound, or 6 florins German money. 
Such a piece of paper money is not larger than 
a hand's breadth; on it stand in part 6, 12, 18 
or 24 florins ; such paper money can be ex- 

*The author has here taken a kreuzer for a pence 

Translator's Note. — The German annotator is wrong. 
The author did not take a German kreuzer for an English 
pefiTiy ; he simply reduced the English money to the value 
of German money. The original reads : " Das kleinste 
Stiick thut 3 kr.," i. e. does, or makes, or is eguivakfit to 
3 kr. The author makes his meaning very clear in : " das 
8te ist eine halbe Crone, welches thut 42 kr." ( — which 

makes 42 kr.) 


XanJ) ipenns^jlvanla. 

changed for silver and gold. If any one coun- 
terfeits or prints such stamped paper money, 
he is hanged without pardon. Beside the paper 
money there is no other currency but gold, 
French and Spanish dollars, the last named 
having a large circulation. 

N. B. If our countr}''men bring German coin 
to that country, they will not get a kreuzer's 
worth for such money ; that is, if it be small 

When two persons have a quarrel or law- 
suit in this country, and if they cannot settle it 
themselves, they must first appear before a 
Justice, who is as much as a judge. When 
the plaintiff and his witnesses prefer a charge, 
the Justice asks if they can swear to it. When 
the question is answered in the affirmative, the 
Justice takes the Bible into his hand and ad- 
monishes the parties once more very sharply. 
When this is done, one must take the Bible out 
of the Justice's hand and kiss it three times. 
The Justice says : Now it is done. He sits 
down again and binds the defendant over for 
the next court, and sends him immediately by 
the constable, that is the court officer, to the 
prison in Philadelphia, where he must stay till 
the next court is held, which is sometimes 
almost a quarter of a year. But if the defend- 
ant will not go to prison, he must usually bind 


90 Description of tbc 

himself in the sum of from loo to 600 florins to 
appear and surrender himself at the next court 
at Philadelphia. But if he cannot do that, he 
must look about for some good friend to bind 
himself for him. If he does not appear at the 
appointed time, the deposited money, or prop- 
erty to the same amount, is irredeemably for- 
feited. When a case comes for the first time 
before the court, it costs already 5 pounds, that 
is 30 florins; if it is not disposed of, but post- 
poned to the second court, it costs as much 
again, and yet the case is not always disposed 
of then; but the gentlemen of the court choose, 
when it has been called up often enough, three 
impartial men who are to dispose of it. This 
is done in the following manner : When the 
three selected men meet at the appointed time 
with the plaintiff and the defendant, two of the 
referees are told for which party each had been 
chosen and sworn by the court ; but the third 
man, being the arbitrator, must decide when 
the two cannot aofree. But before the case it- 
self is taken up, an English bill of complaint is 
made out by the three men in the presence of 
an English clerk, even if German people are 
concerned in the case, for a German document 
is of no validity before the authorities. Both 
the plaintiff and the defendant must sign this 
document and promise that both parties will 


XanO iPcnii0i2lvanla. 91 

abide by that which the three men will do, con- 
clude and decide in the matter. Then the case 
is taken up to be adjudged in favor of the one 
or the other party. 

If any one contracts debts, and does not or 
cannot pay them at the appointed time, the best 
that he has is taken away from him ; but if he 
has nothing, or not enough, he must go immedi- 
ately to prison and remain there till some one 
vouches for him, or till he is sold. This is done 
whether he has children or not. But if he 
wishes to be released and has children, such a 
one is frequently compelled to sell a child. If 
such a debtor owes only 5 pounds, or 30 florins, 
he must serve for it a year or longer, and so in 
proportion to his debt; but if a child of 8, 10 or 
12 years of age is given for it, said child must 
serve until he or she is 21 years old. 

If a man in Pennsylvania is betrothed to a 
woman, and does not care to be married by an 
ordained preacher, he may be married by any 
Justice, wherever he will, without having the 
banns published, on payment of 6 florins. It is a 
very common custom among the newly married, 
when the priest has blessed them, to kiss each 
other in presence of the whole church assem- 
blage, or wherever the marriage ceremony 
takes place. Again, when a couple have been 
published from the pulpit, even if this has been 


92 Description ot tbe 

done for the second or third time, they are still 
at liberty to grive each other up without the 
least cost. Even when such a couple have 
come to the church with their wedding guests, 
nay, when they already stand before the altar, 
and one party repents the engagement, he or 
she may yet walk away. This has frequendy 
been done; but it occurs oftener that a bride 
leaves her bridegroom together with the wed- 
dine euests in the church, which causes a cruel 
laughter among said wedding guests ; these 
may then freely partake of the meal that has 
been prepared. 

If a couple in this province want to marry 
each other, and the parents and relatives on 
one or both sides will not permit it, especially 
when a woman will not renounce her lover, 
they ride off and away together on one horse. 
And because women have greater privileges 
than men, the man must sit on the horse be- 
hind his beloved. In this position they ride to 
a Justice, and say they had stolen each other, 
and request him to marry them for their money. 
When this is done, no one, neither parents nor 
friends, can afterward separate them. 

If any one has lost a wife or husband in 
Germany, and if such loss was not caused by 
the death of either of them, he or she can find 
such lost treasure, if the same be still alive, in 


XanD ipcnns^lvanla. 9S 

America, for Pennsylvania is the gathering 
place of all runaways and good-for-nothings. 
Many women and men are there who have 
deserted their spouses and their children, 
and have married again, but in doing so 
have generally made a w^orse bargain than 

If a man gets a woman with child, and he 
marries her, either before or after her confine- 
ment, he has expiated his guilt and is not pun- 
ished by the authorities. But if he will not 
marry the woman whom he got with child, and 
she sues him, he must either marry her, or give 
her a sum of money. But there is no penalty 
on fornication. 

A few years ago the following incident truly 
happened not far from the Blue Mountains. A 
man's wife, who was well advanced in years, fell 
sick and grew worse from day to day. When 
the woman had given up all hope of recovery, 
she commended herself to God and begged her 
husband not to refuse her last request, which 
would be for his own and her children's benefit. 
Her husband declared his readiness to comply 
with her wish so far as he would be able to do 
so, gave her his hand, and asked her to name 
her request. She said : Alas, my dear husband, 
I am much concerned about my children, who 
are young and not grown up yet ; and I fear 


94 Descrlptfon of tbc 

that when I die they may get a bad step- 
mother ; I pray you earnestly, therefore, to 
marry no other than our Rosina, who has all 
this time been a faithful and industrious servant 
in our house. But her husband comforted her, 
saying that she should set her mind at rest, that 
he hoped she would recover from her illness. 
This she would not believe, and she persisted 
in urging her husband that he would marry no 
other than Rosina, so that she might know and 
see before her end what sort of a mother her 
children would have. Her husband had, there- 
fore, to promise the suggested marriage with 
mouth and hand. But this did not yet satisfy 
her ; she also sent for Rosina to come to her 
bedside, and commended her household, to- 
gether with her husband and children, to her 
care. The servant maid did not say nay, but 
submitted everything to her master's will. When 
the anxious woman had received the promise of 
both, her husband and the servant had to join 
hands before her eyes, vowing that they would 
keep each other. The sick w^oman then laid her 
hands upon theirs and blessed this new couple 
herself, and was very glad of it. But after this 
the sick woman grew better from day to day, 
and at last perfectly well. The husband then 
said to his old wife : You have yourself given 
me this young woman for a wife; now I will 


XanO ipenns^lvanfa. 95 

keep her as such. Whereupon his old wife said: 
Yes, I will have it so, in order that I may die in 
peace whenever my time comes. The young 
wife gave birth to children during the lifetime 
of the old one, and the old one tended and 
nursed the young one always well and faithfully 
during her confinements; so that these two 
wives and their husband were very well pleased 
with each other. And no one interfered, be- 
cause they were separatists and not church- 
people. Whenever any one came, wishing to 
speak to the mistress of the house, the husband 
or one of his wives would always ask which one 
was meant, the old one or the young one ? And 
they admitted it themselves that they were both 
his wives. 

In order to impugn the credibility of this story 
-some may remind me of the severity of the 
Eno-lish law which unmercifully dooms to death 
him who has two wives, or her who has two 
husbands. But the judge does not pronounce 
this doom if the other party does not bring suit. 
These two wives were satisfied, and there 
was in this case the special circumstance that 
severe as the laws are, they cannot be executed 
so strictly in Pennsylvania, because the people 
in the rural parts live too widely separated from 
€ach other. If it should really happen that a 
man had two wives, and the case should be 


96 Description ot tbe 

brought to the notice of the courts, he would 
not rest till he had married a third wife. Then 
he would be free, and would not have sinned 
against the law which merely prohibits the 
marrying of two wives, but does not expressly 
prohibit the marrying of three wives. 

On the whole, crimes are punished severely, 
especially larceny. If any one steals only a 
handkerchief, a pair of stockings or shoes, or a 
shirt, or the like things of little value, and suit 
is brought against him, he is tied to a post in 
the public market, stripped to the waist, and so 
terribly lashed with a switch, or a horse- or dog- 
whip, to which knots are sometimes attached, 
that patches of skin and flesh hang down from 
his body. But if such a culprit should subse- 
quently steal again, and were it only an object 
worth 20 florins, or a horse, short work is made 
with him. They place him in a cart, drive him 
beneath the gallows, throw a rope round his 
neck, hang him up, drive the cart away beneath 
him, and let him dangle; sometimes the culprit 
suffers long and dies miserably. For in this 
country it does not matter who plays the hang- 
man; for 5 pounds or 30 florins any one will do 
it. During the time while I was there such an 
execution took place, when an unskilled hang- 
man had to hanor a thief, which took him 
so long that some distinguished gentlemen, 


XanO ipcnne^lvanfa. 97 

■who were present, grew impatient and called 
out to him to know why he was fooling around 
so long with him. But the hangman was quick- 
witted and answered boldly: If you, gentlemen, 
can hang a man better than I can, just come on. 
The consequence was that the gentlemen were 
laughed at by the people. 

Every one here is at liberty to take his fallen 
horse, cow, or other animal out wherever he 
chooses, dispensing with the services of a flayer, 
to take the skin off the dead animal, and to 
do with it as he pleases. No obstacle is placed 
in his way herein, and it may be practised by 
any one, whatever his business or profession 
may be, without encountering any remon- 

In Pennsylvania one might travel about a 
whole year without spending a penny; for it is 
customary in this country that, when one comes 
with his horse to a house, the traveler is asked 
if he wishes to have something to eat, where- 
upon the stranger is served with a piece of cold 
meat which has been left over from dinner ; in 
addition to this he is provided with fine bread, 
butter and cheese, also with plenty to drink. 
If one wishes to stay over night, he and his horse 
are harbored free of charge. If any one comes 
to a house at meal-time, he is asked to take his 
seat at the table and to take pot-luck. But 


98 2)e0criptton ot tbc 

there are also taverns where everything- may be 

Enghsh women in Pennsylvania and in all the 
English colonies have all the qualities and privi- 
leges of women in old England. They are ex- 
ceedingly handsome and well formed, generally 
gay, friendly, very free, plucky, smart and clever, 
but also very haughty, they are fond of dress 
and demand great attention from the men. The 
English men make much of them and show 
them great respect. A man must not think of 
marrying a woman unless he is able to support 
her without expecting work of her ; otherwise 
she would make him unhappy, or even desert 
him ; for they must not be asked to do any 
household work except such as they will do of 
their own free choice. They are fond of receiv- 
ing visits and attending parties ; whether the 
husband likes it or not, he must not even show 
a dissatisfied mien. I would rather beat three 
men in England than box a woman's ear but 
slighdy ; and if such a thing is done by her own 
husband and she complains to her neighbors, 
his life is not safe. But if such a thing happens 
repeatedly^ he had better put a safe distance 
between himself and her, as she can send him 
to prison, if not to a galley, for a long time. 
No one can compel her to receive her husband 
again. That English women are generally very 


Xand IPcnns^lvania. 99 

handsome is not surprising, for they are tenderly 
nurtured from their childhood; they eat and 
drink no coarse food and beverages : they need 
not work and are not much exposed to the 
sun. In court the evidence of one woman is 
worth as much as that of three male witnesses. 
It is said they received this great privilege 
from Queen Elizabeth. 

Respecting the extent of America, they say 
in Pennsylvania that that continent is much 
larger than Europe, but that it is impossible 
to explore it on account of its immeasurable 
pathless forests and its great and small rivers. 
Nor is Pennsylvania an island, as some simple- 
tons in Germany believe it to be. I have had 
occasion to speak of the extent of this continent 
with an English traveler who had been far in 
the interior of the country among the savages. 
He told me that he had been more than 700 
English miles, which is 233 Swabian hours' jour- 
ney from Philadelphia, purchasing skins and all 
sorts of furs from the savages. He had spoken 
on that very same topic with an Indian, a very 
old fellow, who had given him to understand in 
English that he and his brothers had one time 
journeyed from the place, where the meeting 
with said English traveler had occurred, straight 
through the land and through the bush toward 
the setting sun, and that according to their 


100 Description of tbc 

estimate they had gone 1600 EngHsh miles. 
But seeing that there was no hope of finding 
the end of this country they had returned. On 
this journey they had met an indescribable mul- 
titude of Indians of their race, also all sorts of 
animals, as, white and black bears, stags that 
are not so large as ours, wald oxen [buffaloes], 
panthers that are strong enough to kill cattle or 
men, wild hogs that are very large, wolves, 
monkeys, foxes and the like. Besides feathered 
<:reatures of many kinds, as, golden eagles, 
torckis [turkeys], i. e. a kind of fowl that are 
larger than roosters ; swans, wild ducks, not to 
mention the many strange kinds of birds that 
they, the savages, had not known before, and 
many animals covered with very fine and costly 
fur. They had also met an animal which had 
a smooth and pointed horn an ell and a half 
long on its head; said horn pointed straight 
ahead. This animal was as large as a 
middle-sized horse, but swifter than a stag in 
running. The Europeans of Philadelphia had 
taken this animal for the unicorn.* The old 
savage also said they had met on this journey 
many great waters, besides smaller rivers, all of 
which they had crossed by swimming. 

In the Blue Mountains various rich ores have 
been found which are kept concealed as yet as 

* Perhaps it is the Elk. 


XanD Pennsylvania, 101 

much as possible ; this ore consists for the most 
part in copper, sulphur and iron, and promises 
a rich yield. 

Iron-works and foundries and glass-works 
have already been established. Much cast-iron 
and glass are exported from this province in 
ships sailing to Ireland, England, Holland, and 
to the other colonies; many a ship leaves , the 
port of Philadelphia, freighted exclusively with 
iron bars. 

A place has also been found in Pennsylvania, 
which is very well known to me, where the 
most beautiful blue, white and red marble may 
be had of which the English build very fine 
altars, halls and columns. These stones are as 
large as one would have them ; there are also 
plenty of other fipe stones for building pur- 
poses. Freestone and unhewn blocks are, 
therefore, almost exclusively used for building 
in this country. 

In Pennsylvania there are already four print- 
ing offices, two of which are in Philadelphia, 
one in the English and the other in the German 
language; the third is in Germantown and the 
fourth in Lancaster. 

There are also various flour-mills, saw-mills, 
oil-presses, fulling-mills, powder-mills and paper- 
mills, lime and brick-kilns, and not a few tan- 
neries and potteries. In Philadelphia there are 


102 2)escriptfon of tbe 

also German and English apothecaries, and I 
know of no art or trade that is not to be found 
in that city and in that new land. Even glaziers 
and scissors-grinders are already going around, 
which appears very strange and ridiculous to 
the English people. 

Nothing is lacking in this country except, as I 
have stated before, the cultivation of the vine, but 
I have no doubt that this, too, will come in time. 
It is no wonder, therefore, that this beautiful 
country, which is already extensively settled and 
inhabited by rich people, has excited the covet- 
ousness of France. And actually, while I write 
this, it is rumored that the French had made a 
raid into Pennsylvania in November, 1755, and 
had taken Lancaster, a surprise rendered easy 
by the dissensions between the Governor, Mr. 
Morris, and the Assembly, which latter had re- 
fused to vote money for the defense of the 
country. But according to my humble opinion, 
Pennsylvania cannot stand a long war ; there is 
nothing for which it is less prepared than a war, 
especially because so many Quakers are there 
who will not quarrel or fight with anybody. For 
this reason no magazines or stores have ever 
been established and filled with grain and pro- 
visions. Hitherto every one has sent his annual 
surplus products to Philadelphia to be sold there, 
and from there they are shipped by sea to other 


XanD pennsBlvanfa, 103 

provinces ; I believe, therefore, that for want of 
provisions in this war time there must soon 
arise an indescribable dearth. 

Compared to Europe, Pennsylvania has a 
very changeable climate ; in summer it is often 
so hot and almost without a breeze that one is 
near suffocating; and in winter intensely cold 
spells are quite frequent and come so suddenly 
that men and beasts, and even the birds in the 
air are in danger of freezing to death. Fortu- 
nately these cold spells are of short duration and 
are interrupted by a sudden change. There are 
often in one day three or four kinds of weather: 
warm, cold, storm and wind, rain or snow, and 
then fine weather again. Sometimes cyclonic 
winds and cloudbursts come so suddenly and 
unexpectedly that it seems as if everything was 
doomed to destruction. Large fruit and cedar 
trees are occasionally torn out of the ground 
together with their roots ; now and then even 
whole tracts of forests are blown down. There 
are constantly many violent winds in this coun- 
try, because it is so near the open sea. 

In spring the warm weather comes so sud- 
denly that everything grows very fast, and in the 
beginning of June harvesting has fully begun. 

In summer time, no matter how hot it may 
have been during the day, no one must remain 
lightly clad in the evening after sunset, on ac- 

104 Dcficrlptton of tbe 

count of the sharp and heavy dew ; those who 
neglect this precaution are sure to have a 
catarrh or a fever. 

It is surprising to hear old Indians or savages 
complain and say that, since the Europeans 
came into their country, they were so frequently 
visited by heavy snow-falls, severe frosts, and 
torrents of rain, of which they had known 
nothing before the coming of the Europeans. 
Whether this is true or not, even the Pennsyl- 
vanians ascribe the facts to the Europeans, be- 
cause these, and especially the Germans, are 
mostly such fearful swearers. 

For this reason a penalty of 5 pounds or 30 
florins has recently been fixed throughout Penn- 
sylvania upon ever)' oath uttered in public, in 
order to check this shocking habit of swearing, 
both among the English and the Germans. If 
any one hears another swear, and informs 
against him, such informer is to have one-half of 
the imposed fine, or 15 florins; the consequence 
being that many a one is trying hard to guard 
against being caught in the act of swearing. 
On the other hand, many a one has been in- 
duced by this law to turn informer for the pur- 
pose of earning money. During my sojourn in 
the country one of these greedy informers got 
something which he had not barcjained for. 
Having from interested motives informed 


XanD Pennsylvania. 105 

against a very poor man for swearing, the 
Justice asked above all things whether this 
swearer was a rich or a poor man, and whether 
he had children. Being told that nothing was 
to be got out of him, he ordered that, instead 
of being fined 5 pounds or 30 florins, he should 
receive 50 lashes upon his posterior. But as 
the informer was entitled to one-half of the fine, 
the Justice asked him if he was willing to forego 
his half of the poor man's penalty. He an- 
swered in the negative, when the Justice bid him 
have patience, assuring him that he would duly 
receive his half He then ordered that 25 good 
lashes should be administered to the defendant 
for his profanity. This being done, 25 lashes, 
well laid on, were administered to the greedy 
informer, who was not a litde surprised at this 
turn of things. This malignant man vowed, 
however, that he would never in his life inform 
again against any one. 

In the province of Pennsylvania, and especi- 
ally in the city of Philadelphia, the Sabbath- 
breakers who buy and sell on Sunday, when 
there is no necessity for doing so, are fined 5 
pounds or 30 florins for each oflence; even 
a baker who bakes bread and sells it on Sun- 
days or holidays is fined 30 florins. A shop- 
keeper selling goods on Sunday has still less 
claim to indulgence. Grinding flour is prohib- 

106 Description ot tbe 

ited under the same penalty. A waggoner or 
teamster, who drives without necessity into the 
field or country, has to pay the same fine, be- 
cause this is considered as his every-day occu- 
pation, like that of any other profession. 
Nevertheless, there is a great confusion on 
account of the many religious denominations 
and sects; for especially in the rural districts it 
is very ill kept. The holidays and apostle-days 
are not observed at all. As the inhabitants live 
scattered and often very far from their churches, 
it happens that many a man keeps divine 
service with his family in his own house, while 
many others plough, reap, thresh, hew or split 
wood and the like, and thus Sunday is dis- 
regarded by many. For want of an annual 
almanac many do not even know when it is 
Sunday, and thus the young grow up without 
the necessary divine knowledge, like the abori- 
gines or savages. 

In Pennsylvania and the other English colo- 
nies there are innumerable negroes, or blacks, 
who have to serve all their lives as slaves. 
From 200 to 350 florins are paid for a strong 
and industrious half-grown negro. Many are 
given in marriage by their masters in order to 
raise young blackamoors by them, who are sold 
in their turn. These blacks are likewise 
married in the English fashion. 


XanD Pennsylvania. 107 

According to their color the inhabitants of 
Pennsylvania may be divided into 4 classes. 
There are, i. Whites, i. e. Europeans who 
have immigrated, and natives begotten by Euro- 
pean fathers and mothers; 2. Negroes, i. e. 
blacks brought over as slaves from Africa; 3. 
MuLATERS or Malaters [mulattoes], i. e. such 
as are begotten by a white father and a black 
mother, or by a black father and a white 
mother; these are neither white nor black, but 
yellowish; 4. Dark-brown, these are the sav- 
ages or Indians, the old inhabitants of the 

As to the number of people in Pennsylvania, 
it must be confessed that the female sex in this 
new country is very fruitful; for people marry 
young in this land, and many immigrants arrive 
every year. In Philadelphia or in the country; 
when one comes into a house, one finds it 
usually full of children, and the city of Philadel- 
phia is fairly swarming with them. And if one 
meets a woman, she is either with child, or she 
carries a child in her arms, or leads one by the 
hand. Many children are born every year.* 
Those that are born and brought up in this 
country grow very fast; they are full-grown at 
the age of 15, rarely later than 17 or 18 years 

♦Pennsylvania is said to have 200,000 inhabitants. 


108 2)e0crlption of tbc 

but they seldom grow old. They resemble 
herein the trees of their forests. Europeans 
who emigrate to the country grow much older 
than those that are born in it. I, at least, have 
seen few of the latter that were 60 or 'jo years 
old; on the other hand I met people who came 
to the country as children 75 years ago, with 
the first immigrants. These told me how it 
looked in the country at that time, and how 
much misery they had sometimes to endure. 
That these beginners in a new and wild country 
fared very hard, may be readily believed; for 
this small flock was constantly in great fear on 
account of the many Indians or savages who 
swarmed around them at that time ; they lacked 
all sorts of tools, and were compelled to hoe 
the seed into the soil because they had neither 
horses nor cattle ; besides they were at that 
time and long afterward without flour-mills, 
and had to crush the grain between flat 
stones, so that it was a very difficult task to 
bake bread. And more than all this, no salt 
was to be had for a long time. They had wood, 
and did not lack meat because they shot all 
sorts of game, though they were often in great 
want of gun-powder. For a long time several 
persons had to keep one horse in common until 
more horses and cattle were brought from other 
countries. Not to mention the multitude of 


XanJ) Ipcnnsi2lvania. io» 

large and small wild beasts, snakes and vermin 
of every kind, so that they constandy lived in 
great fear and anxiety ; therefore they were 
obliged to keep large fires burning around their 
huts^by day and by night, to keep the bears, 
panthers and wolves away. But now bears- 
and panthers are rarely seen in Pennsylvania. 
A few years ago a large bear came by night 
into Captain Von Diemer's orchard, and climbed 
upon the fruit-trees, shaking down apples, just 
as if a man had been on the trees, so that the 
does beean to bark. But the bear did not 
mind that, and continued shaking. At length 
the servants notified the master of the house, 
who went out immediately with two rifles, 
his servants and dogs, and when he had ap- 
proached the apple-shaker near enough in the 
moonlight, he saluted him with a bullet ; where- 
upon the wounded bear growled terribly and 
tumbled down from the tree topsy-turvy. But 
as he was about to run away he received a 
second bullet, and after he had made a somer- 
sault and received a third shot, he remained 
lying on the ground, when the large dogs fell 
upon him and killed him. This incident filled 
many neighbors with great joy. 

Old people of eighty years and more told me 
much of their former sad condition ; that for a 
long time there had been a great lack of God- 

110 Description ot tbe 

fearing preachers, and the sacraments, baptism 
and holy communion ; and when a preacher 
occasionally came to a place, many a one was 
obliged to make a journey of lo, 20, and 
even 30 hours to hear him ; while now most 
people would not make an hour's trip to hear 
him, but would even despise him. The many 
sects lead people astray, and make them heter- 
odox, especially many of our young German 
folks who are easy to seduce, because they 
have often many years to serve with them, so 
that they even forget their mother-tongue. 
Even many adults and old people have changed 
their faith, merely for the sake of their suste- 
nance. 1 could quote many instances, but as 
this would lead me too far, I shall content my- 
self with relating a single case. I was well 
acquainted with an old German neighbor, who 
had been a Lutheran, but had re-baptized him- 
self in a running water; some time afterwards 
he circumcised himself and believed only in the 
Old Testament ; finally, however, shordy be- 
fore his death, he baptized himself again by 
sprinkling water upon his head. 

I cannot pass over another example of the 
godless life of some people in this free country. 
Two very rich planters living in Oley township, 
who were very well known to me, one by the 
name of Arnold Hufnagel, the other named 


XanD lPcnnsi2lvania. ill 

Conrad Reif, both arch-enemies and scoffers of 
the preachers and the divine word, often met to 
ridicule and scoff at the ministers and all the 
church people, and to deny heaven and future 
salvation, as well as eternal damnation in hell. 
In 1753 these two scoffers met again one day, 
according to their evil custom, and began to 
speak of heaven and hell, said Arnold Huf- 
nagel to Conrad Keif: "How much will you 
give me for my place in heaven, brother?" 
Said the other: "I will give you just as much as 
you will give me for my place in hell." Said 
Hufnagel again: "If you will give me so and so 
many sheep for my place in heaven, you shall 
have it." Replied Reif: "I will give them to 
you if you will give me so and so many sheep 
for my place in hell." Thus the two scoffers 
agreed on their bargain, joking blasphemously 
about heaven and hell. On the following day 
as Hufnagel, who had been ready to part with 
his place in heaven on such cheap terms, was 
about to descend to his cellar, which had always 
been his heaven, he suddenly dropped down 
dead; while Reif was attacked in his field by a 
flight of so-called golden eagles, which would 
surely have killed him if he had not cried 
piteously for help, when some neighbors came 
to his assistance. From that day he would not 
trust himself out of his house; he was taken 


112 Description of tbe 

with a wasting disease and died in his sins, un- 
repentant and unshriven. These two examples 
had the visible effect of arousing the conscious- 
ness of other scoffers. For God will not permit 
Himself to be scoffed. 

On the first and second days of the month 
of May there is general merry-making in Penn- 
sylvania, in which the unmarried persons of both 
sexes chiefly take part. All amuse themselves 
with playing, dancing, shooting, hunting, and the 
like. Such unmarried persons as are born in 
the country adorn their heads with a piece 
of the fur of some wild animal, together with any 
painted animal they may choose. With these 
the young men walk about the city, crying, 
"Hurrah! Hurrah!" But no one may put such 
a token in his hat except those born in the 
country, and these are called Indians. 

In Pennsylvania the following custom pre- 
vails among all people, high and low, in the city 
and in the country. When any one enters a 
house, or meets another, he first presses the 
hand of the father and mother of the family; 
then he salutes in the same manner with his 
hand all other persons, as many as there may 
be, and it happens sometimes that he will find 
a whole room full. Such salutation and hand- 
shaking is customary with strangers as well 
as among the most intimate friends, and the 


5LanD pcnns^lvanta. 113 

mode of addressino- each other is among- the 
English as well as the Germans: "How are you, 
^ood friend?" And the answer is: "So mid- 
dling." This pleasant custom springs in part 
from the many English Quakers in Philadelphia, 
and in part from the Indians themselves, who 
were the first among whom this custom pre- 
vailed. To speak the truth, one seldom hears 
or sees a quarrel among them. Even strangers 
trust each other more than acquaintances in 
Europe. People are far more sincere and gen- 
erous than in Germany; therefore our Amer- 
icans live more quietly and peacefully together 
than the Europeans; and all this is the result of 
the liberty which they enjoy and which makes 
them all equal. 

There are in this country a great many very 
beautiful pearl-colored squirrels which are as 
large again as ours. They are shot daily for 
food, because their flesh is very delicious ; they 
are almost as long as a half-grown hare, but 
not so thick. Hares, snipe, pheasants, wild 
ducks, wild pigeons, wild turkeys can be shot 
in great numbers every day; fish and fowl, 
too, are everywhere to be had in plenty. And 
here I remember another kind of squirrel, 
viz., the flying squirrel,* which is exceedingly 

* For a description of this flying squirrel see the German 
translation of M. De Diereville's Journey to Acadia, p. 239. 

pretty ; 

114 Description of tbe 

pretty ; but this species is very small, about the 
size of a rat, though not so thick ; you can 
cover it up with your hand. It can fly the dis- 
tance of a rifle-shot ; its fur is like fine velvet, 
its color like that of the large squirrel ; a good 
price is paid for its skin. I took such a flying 
squirrel with me to exhibit in Germany as a 
rare and marvelous little animal ; but in the 
sixth week at sea it was quite unexpectedly 
bitten to death by a very large parrot. This 
parrot had a bright yellow belly and sky-blue 
wings ; it was larger than an ordinary rooster, 
and could speak much English. There were 
two other species on board the ship; one was 
of the size of a pigeon, grass-green and could 
speak Spanish; the third species was a pair, 
a he and a she, not much larger than quail, 
grass-green, with red heads, and they could 
talk much English. There are many kinds 
of these strange and beautiful birds in Pennsyl- 

The cultivation of music is rather rare as yet. 
In the capital city, Philadelphia, no music is 
made either in the English or in the German 
churches. Some EnMishmen o-ive occasional 
concerts in private houses with a spinet or 
harpsichord. I came to the country with the 
first organ, which now stands in a High Ger- 
man Lutheran church in the city of Philadelphia, 


lanD penns^lvanfa. 115 

and which was built in Heilbronn. After this 
work had been set up and tuned it was conse- 
crated with great rejoicing, and deHvered to the 
Christian St. Michael's Church for the praise 
and service of God. At this great and joyous 
festival there appeared 15 Lutheran ministers 
with the entire vestries of all the Evangelical 
churches. The crowd of hearers was inde- 
scribably large; many people came from a 
great distance, 10, 20, 30, 40, and even 50 
hours' journey, to see and hear this organ. The 
number of hearers, who stood inside and out- 
side the church, both German and English, 
were estimated at several thousands. On the 
2nd day of this solemn festival of rejoicing a 
conference was held by all the assembled Luth- 
eran ministers and vestries, and on that occasion 
I was appointed school-master and organist. 
As I became more and more known in Penn- 
sylvania, and the people learned that I had 
brought fine and good instruments with me, 
many English and German families came 10, 
20 and 30 hours' journey to hear them and to 
see the organ, and they were greatly surprised, 
because they had never in all their lives seen or 
heard an organ or any of these instruments. 

At the present time there are 6 organs in 
Pennsylvania — the ist is in Philadelphia, the 2nd 
in Germantown, the 3rd in Providence, the 4th 


116 Description of tbe 

in Ne\y Hanover, the 5th in Dulpenhacken 
(Tulpehocken), and the 6th in Lancaster, all of 
which came to the country during the 4 years 
of my sojourn there. 

Throughout Pennsylvania men and women 
dress according to the English fashion. Women 
wear no hoops, but all that they wear is very 
fine, neat and cosdy. The jackets and skirts 
are cut and sewed in one piece; in front they 
can be parted. Beneath these they wear hand- 
somely sewed petticoats trimmed with ribbon, 
but the outer skirts must reach down to the 
shoes, and are made of cotton, chintz, or other 
rich and handsome stuffs. All wear daily fine 
white aprons, on their shoes usually large silver 
buckles, round their throats fine strings of beads, 
in their ears costly drops with fine stones, and 
on their heads fine white hoods embroidered 
with flowers and trimmed with lace and stream- 
ers. Their gloves are made of velvet, silk 
and the like, usually trimmed with silver or 
gold lace and beautifully embroidered. Their 
neckerchiefs are either of velvet or of pure 
silk, and likewise tastefully embroidered. When 
they walk or ride they wear blue or scarlet 
cloaks which only reach down to the waist. On 
their heads they wear black or beautifully- 
colored bannerts (bonnets) of taffeta instead of 
straw hats. These bannerts are of a peculiar 


XanD ipennsslvanta. 117 

structure and serve instead of parasols, but are 
much prettier. If our women could see such 
bannerts, they would surely wish to have them 


When they ride on horseback they have costly 
whips which are elegantly made of fine wire, 
whalebone and the like. The handles are usu- 
ally made of red velvet, plush, or tortoise-shell, 
mother-of-pearl, ivory, some even of solid silver, 
according to the price that the wearer is willing 
to pay. Such whips the women take with them 
when they ride into the country, to the city, or 
to church; they keep them in their hands even 
in church. Many a woman is a match in riding 
for the best horseman. An English servant- 
woman, especially in Philadelphia, is as elegantly 
dressed as an aristocratic lady in Germany. 

All English ladies are very beautiful; they 
wear their\air usually cut short or frizzed. 

The apparel of the men, especially English- 
men, is very costly, among the farmers as well 
as among persons of rank; they all wear gar- 
ments of fine English cloth or other materials, 
also fine shirts. Every one wears a wig, the 
peasant as well as the gentleman. In Phila- 
delphia they wear very large and very fine 
beaver hats, which is no wonder, seeing that 
this is the home of the beaver. But in summer, 
on account of the great heat, every one, espec 


118 Description of tbe 

ially in the country, wears the rim of the hat 
turned down. 

For the same reason thin, light coats or 
jackets are worn which are neatly made of fine 
linen or dimity. Every one wears long trousers 
reaching down to the shoes; these trousers are 
very wide and made of stiff linen or buckram. 
All men have their hair cut short in summer 
time, and they wear only a cap of fine white 
linen, and over it a hat with the rim not turned 
up. On entering a house they only doff the 
hat, but not the cap; and if any one travels 
only an hour's journey into the country, he wears 
his long coat, and a pair of boots that are half 
turned down and reach only to the middle of 
the calves. This costume is necessary in this 
country on account of the sudden changes of 

The price of farms in Pennsylvania, especially 
round Philadelphia, is already quite high ; from 
30 to 50 florins are paid for an acre, only a 
day's journey from the city, although the ground 
is still uncleared forest land. If a place is de- 
sired for a homestead, which is already in a 
habitable and cultivated condition, containing a 
dwelling-house, barns and good stables, together 
with meadows, orchards, tilled fields and suffi- 
cient woodland, twice as much is asked for it as 
for uncultivated land, the price being about one 


XanO ipcnns^lvanla. ny 

hundred florins per acre. Rich Englishmen 
have already bought up from the Indians all the 
remote land far and near, where all is as yet wild 
and wooded, in order to sell it again to the 
Europeans who are coming to the country. 
Our German people who emigrate there do not 
o-et land enough for nothing upon which to build 
a cottage. The price of land is increasing from 
year to year, especially because the English see 
that so many people, anxious to own farms or 
plantations, are coming to the country every 

In South Carolina, which is 200-250 hours 
distant from Pennsylvania, an acre of land, 
which is, however, all forest, may be had for 1 8 
or 20 kreuzers. There one has to go i, 2, 3 
and more hours to reach his nearest neighbor, 
and to travel 2, 3, 4, and even 8 days to reach a 
town or a church. Carolina is much warmer 
than Pennsylvania, for it produces rice in abund- 
ance, much cotton and olive oil. On the trees 
grow nuts as thick as a fist, and when they fall 
in autumn and are opened they contain a firm 
ball, which must be forcibly drawn asunder and 
combed; afterward the wool is washed and 
bleached till it is as white as snow. Every one 
there wears cotton garments. 

In Pennsylvania all houses are built solidly of 
free-stone; and when they stand alone, they are 


120 H)C0cript{on of tbe 

generally provided on every side with large 
English plate-glass windows. Stoves are rarely 
seen in the rooms; in their stead all houses 
have French chimneys; the people sit in front 
of them, drink their good English beer, or 
smoke a pipe of tobacco. When thess chim- 
neys are well built, no smoke escapes into the 

All houses have on both sides two benches, 
set up about four feet straight out and in front 
of the house-doors, and roofed like a garden 
pavilion^ the roof resting on two columns. 
Such outside benches are found in front of all 
houses, not only in the country, but in the 
whole city of Philadelphia. Everybody is sitting 
on them or promenading in front of them in the 
evening, when the weather is fine. The streets 
and houses of this city being so straight, one 
can look half an hour's journey straight ahead. 
As has been mentioned in the beginning, there 
are seven main churches in the city, but only 
one has a steeple attached to it ; this, however, 
is very high and fine. In this whole city there 
are no more than two small bells, and when 
they are rung together, divine service begins in 
all churches. During the last year of my 
sojourn there the city councils and the church 
vestries made arrangements to have three bells 
of various sizes brought over from London in 


Xan& ipennsTSlvanfa. 121 

Old England. No church In the country has a 
steeple, or is provided with a bell or clock; 
and the people hear all the year round no ring- 
ino- or striking the hours, which seems very 
dull to the newcomers, especially in the night- 
time, until they are used to it. But almost every 
one, farmers as well as private persons, makes 
use of silver watches ; they are very generally 
w^orn by the English ladies. 

In 1754 some French deserters, according to 
their statements, met with a strange fatality. 
Two of them came to Philadelphia where they 
related the following adventure : Seven of their 
number had deserted from their regiment which 
had stood at that time beyond the great river 
Ohio, intending to escape to Carolina. In the 
wilderness they had gone astray, had wan- 
dered over hill and dale, without meeting with 
any one except occasionally with some sav- 
ages ; thus they had strayed about for 4 weeks. 
After they had lost said savages out of sight, 
and after they had eaten up their provisions, 
they had subsisted for some time on venison, 
as long as their powder held out ; after that 
was gone, they came across some large rattle- 
snakes from which they ran away at first in 
horror; but being pressed hard by hunger, 
they remembered that the savages were in the 
habit of eating these repdles; so they killed 


122 Descnptton of tbe 

some of them and ate their flesh, which was by 
no means hurtful and poisonous, after they had 
roasted it on the fire. At length, when they 
had eaten up this loathsome food, and not 
knowing whither to turn, after they had 
marched long by day and by night through 
forests and swamps, and crossed large and 
small rivers, they became so weak and feeble 
that they were unable to continue their wander- 
ing, and made up their minds that they were 
doomed to perish by hunger; when the idea 
struck them to cast lots which of them was to 
die first; him they would kill and consume his 
flesh. Their corporal had given this advice, 
to which they had all assented. The first 
lot fell upon the corporal himself, who was 
gready starded, but said: I would starve to 
death anyhow, and all of you will not fare bet- 
ter. They bound him immediately, killed and 
roasted him, and began to eat his flesh, which 
lasted them a while. In the meantime they 
continued their march. But soon they were 
again pressed hard by hunger, and again they 
cast lots; and thus they went on until two 
only of the seven were left alive when they met 
with people; and at length they reached Phila- 
delphia. This long and fatal journey lasted 
from the beginning of May to the end of June. 
There is a current saying to the effect that 


XanO ipennsslvanla. 123 

Pennsylvania Is the paradise of women, the 
purgatory of men, and the hell of horses. 

A. D. 1753, Sept. 2ist, the new calendar was 
introduced in Pennsylvania and in all English 
colonies of America. Accordingly a jump was 
made from the 1 1 th to the 2 1 st of Septem- 
ber. This change met with much opposition 
from the people as well as the High Church of 
Enorland and the sects. To some it has been a 
great grievance that a Sunday was thus left out 
and lost with its gospel.* 

Regarding the climate of Pennsylvania, it 
must be observed that the summer and winter 
seasons, as to night and day, differ about 3 
hours from those of Europe, the days and 
nio-hts beinof shorter or lono-er than with us. In 
summer, when the days are longest, about St. 
John's day, the day does not begin until 4:30 
a. m., while at 8 p. m. it is entirely night; again, 
in winter, when the days are shortest, they are 
longer here and the nights shorter than in 
Europe, for at 5:30 a. m. it is fully daylight, 
while night does not set in until 6 p. m. It is 
also noteworthy that when the sun has set in 
America, it is completely dark in one-half of a 
quarter of an hour, while with us daylight lin- 

* A strange grievance which would be felt in most years, 
as the gospels of the 25th, 26th and 27th Sundays after 
Trinity are often lost in this way. 


124 Description ot tbe 

gers more than half an hour. Observe also this 
difference, that when the sun has risen in 
Europe, night still continues for three hours in 
these American lands; on the other hand, when 
the sun has set in Europe, it continues to shine 
for three hours in America. Pennsylvania must, 
therefore, be very remote from us, I often 
heard from captains and seamen that according 
to their calculation the distance across the open 
sea alone, from land to land, is 3,600 English 
miles, or 1,200 German hours. As to the depth 
of the ocean they told me that, at a distance of 
about 100 miles from the land, the bottom of the 
sea could no longer be fathomed, though they 
sunk the sounding-lead with a rope of 50,000 
fathoms' length into the sea ; which had often 
been done. 

Three ereat roads have been laid out in the 
province of Pennsylvania, all of which lead from 
Philadelphia into the interior of the country as 
far as it is inhabited. The first road runs from 
Philadelphia to the right hand by the Delaware to 
New Frankfurt [Frankford] ; the second or mid- 
dle road runs through Germantown, Rittingston 
(Reading) and Dulppenhacken (Tulpehocken), 
extending across the Blue Mountains; the third 
road runs to the left hand toward Lancaster 
and Bethlehem, where there is a monastery 
and nunnery of Bunkers, inhabited by breth- 

XanO Pennsylvania. 125 

ren and sisters. The men do not shave their 
beards; many a one among them has a beard 
half an ell long. They wear cowls like the 
Capuchin monks, in winter of the same cloth and 
color, but in summer of fine white linen. The 
sisters dress in the same manner. These 
people are not baptized, which is done by im- 
mersion in deep water, until they are full- 
grown and can give an account of their faith. 
Instead of Sunday they keep the preceding 
Saturday. Their convent-sisters aforesaid fre- 
quently bring forth living fruits in patience. 

In conclusion I will relate how, on my way 
home, when the sea was calm and there was no 
wind, I saw fish without number and of various 
kinds and sizes. Among these are especially 
to be noted the large schorks (sharks) or man- 
eaters, of which often whole hosts were floating 
on the surface of the sea. They are formed 
like a hog, but as large as an ox, and they blow 
up the water to a man's height. Many of these 
fish came so near to the ship that they might 
have been hit with a stone. They cause, some- 
times, a tremendous roar, which always por- 
tends a great storm. 

In 1750, while I was on my way to America, 
a laro^e shark was caueht and taken on board 
another ship by means of a hook, to which a 
piece of meat had been attached; and when 


126 ©escriptton of tbc 

they opened the monster, they found in its 
bowels a whole man who still had on his shoes 
with silver buckles; from which fact it was sur- 
mised that this man could not have died a nat- 
ural death, in which case he would not have 
been sunk into the water with his shoes and 
buckles on, but that he must have fallen over- 
board from carelessness, perhaps during a 

In calm weather I frequently saw at sea many 
flying fish, which flew so long as they were wet. 
The largest are about half a foot long, and they 
have long fins that look like wings. They are 
much pursued and eaten by other fish. The 
fish which we caught were always fresh and 
welcome food for us at sea; they were of diverse 
beautiful colors, some sky-blue with yellow stars, 
some gold color with red stars, and others white 
with blue stars. These fish were usually 4, 5» 
and even 6 feet lonp-. 

On our way home across the sea we passed 
through two terrific and dangerous gales. The 
first gale came on a Sunday morning, soon 
after the beginning of our voyage. During the 

*This seems to be no other fish than the Canis car- 
charias, called by the Dutch Hayfisch, and for which 
almost every nation has a different name. Schork [shark] 
appears to be its English appellation. [The Dutch name 
of the shark is haai, the German hai or haifisch. — The 


ILanD IPenns^lvanla. 127 

storm the sailors had to furl up the sails; but 
the wind blew so violently into one of the sails 
that 1 2 men were unable to manage it, the second 
mate was oblio^ed to ascend the mainmast. But 
even this aid was not sufficient. At length the 
gale tore the sail out of the hands of the sailors 
and knocked the mate down, so that he fell 
dead upon the deck of the ship. The storm 
lasted more than twenty-four hours; the sea 
went so hiorh that the waves rolled like hieh 
mountains over each other, and fell roaring into 
the ship, so that the man at the helm and the 
two men that stood at the pump had to be tied 
fast, lest they should be washed overboard by 
the waves. At that time we gave ourselves up 
as lost together with the ship. 

In the seventh week, Sept. 22nd, we had 
another gale which was so terrific that the sailors 
were unable to furl up all the sails. The wind 
blew so violently that it tore one of the largest 
sails into shreds, though it had been tied fast with 
immensely thick ropes. The waves of the sea 
were indescribably formidable, so that the ship 
now rode on their crests, and was now tossed 
down into an abyss, was now hurled upon one 
side, and now upon the other. The billows 
rolled constantly over the ship, so that every 
one thought that it would go down with all on 
board. This gale and terrible anxiet}' lasted 


128 2)escrfpt(on of tbe 

from four o'clock in the evening until toward 
three o'clock of the second night, when the wind 
subsided, but the sea was that whole day still 
so wild and high, and the ship rocked and rolled 
so violently that it was impossible to cook a 
meal or to take any comfort. The poultry on 
board the ship was mostly found dead, the pigs 
and sheep were sick, and the crew of the ship 
themselves were more dead than alive. 

At length the end of our return voyage ap- 
proached. On the last day of the eighth week 
the captain called his mates and ordered them to 
furl up all the sails, and when this was done, to 
throw out the soundino--lead to see if it reached 
the bottom. This being done, the sounding-lead 
touched bottom at a depth of 72 fathoms, a 
circumstance which filled us passengers with 
great joy, because we could hope now to soon 
see land. This hope did not deceive us, for 
on the fourth day of the ninth week we came 
near the headland of Old England. This head- 
land looks white as snow, and the land is there- 
fore called Albion, But as we came nearer 
the land, and had turned on our right a large 
corner of France, we struck a sandbank, so that 
the ship threatened to sink. But fortunately 
the tide had just set in, and we had a good 
strong wind which buoyed the ship up and 
made an end to our tribulation, God be praised. 


XanD lPenn6i2lvania. 129 

Thus, after nine weeks, on the loth of Octo- 
ber, A. D. 1754, after many perils and hard- 
ships, we entered the Thames at London and 
landed safely on the same day on which, four 
years before, I had trod the soil of America. 
We all thanked God from the bottom of our 
hearts; I kissed the ground with joy, and took 
well to heart the 107th Psalm, which describes 
the anguish of the seafarers so faithfully: 

To the Triune God, for this great mercy and 

preservation be praise and thanksgiving 

rendered now and evermore.